Skip to main content

Full text of "Evidence of the truth of the Christian religion, derived from the literal fulfilment of prophecy; particularly as illustrated by the history of the Jews, and by the discoveries of recent travellers"

See other formats


■ \ 



University of California. 

("rlF^X OK 


Received October, 1894. 
/Accessions No . SJ^l^ • Cla&s No. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2008 with funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 









■ *. ' n 







Opinionum commenta dies delet, Natturn Judicia conflrmat. 








The following pages are presented to the public, in the 
hope that they may not be altogether unproductive of 
good. The idea of the propriety of such a publication 
was first suggested to the writer in consequence of a 
conversation with a person who disbelieved the truth of 
Christianity, but whose mind seemed to be considerably 
affected, even by a slight alius on to the argument from 
Prophecy. Having endeavoured in vain to obtain, for 
his perusal, any concise treati' e on the Prophecies, con- 
sidered exclusively as a matter of evidence — and having 
failed in soliciting others to undertake the work, who 
were far better qualified for the execution of it — the 
writer was induced to make the attempt, and to en- 
deavour to bring the object into view. 

In the following Essay the argument is brought within 
narrow limits. Those prophecies are not included which 
were fulfilled previously to the era of the last of the pro- 
phets, or of which the meaning is obscure, or the appli- 
cation doubtful. And the only question to be resolved 
is — Whether there be any clear predictions, literally ac- 
complished, which, from their nature and their number, 
demonstrate that the Scriptures are the dictates of in- 
spiration, or that the Spirit of Prophecy is the testimony 
of Jesus. 

The researches of travellers in Palestine have been 
so abundant, and the prophecies thereby verified are so 
numerous and distinct, that no labour is requisite for 



elucidating their truth, but to examine and compare the 
predictions and the events ; and the literal prophecies 
need no other interpretation than the literal facts. 

Though well aware that any one who seeks to illus- 
trate the external evidence of the truth of Christianity- 
may be said to stand only at the outer porch of the temple 
of Christian faith, yet the writer of these pages humbly 
hopes that he may be permitted to point to a way, with- 
out a stumbling-block, by which some who may be merely 
the proselytes of the gate, or others who would pass 
altogether by, may be enabled to enter into that edifice 
of divine architecture, fitly framed together, which is 
filled with all the riches of mercy, with all the beauties 
of holiness, and with all the light of truth. 

The author having recently visited* some of the scenes 
of scriptural prophecy, the present edition is considera- 
bly enlarged. Lord Claud Hamilton, who travelled at 
the same time in the East, and traversed regions which the 
writer did not visit, having kindly given the use of his 
valuable journal, his descriptions of Petra and Ammon 
enhance the value of the treatise, and will be read with 
much interest. 

> Together with the Rev. Dr. Black, the Rev. Robert M. M'Cheyne, 
and the Rev. Andrew Bonar, being a Deputation from the Church 
of Scotland to Palestine and other countries, to make inquiry re- 
specting the Jews. 



Chap. I. Introduction 7 

Chap. II. Prophecies concerning Christ and the Chris- 
tian Religion 19 

Chap. III. The Destruction of Jerusalem 51 

Chap. IV. The Jews 68 

Chap. V. Judea 89 

Ammon .^ . . 150 

Moab 161 

Edom, or Idumea • . • 172 

Philistia, Gaza, &c 222 

Chap. VI. Nineveh 237 

Babylon 243 

Tyre 324 

Egypt 330 

Chap. VII. The Arabs 342 

The Africans 345 

Chap. VIII. The Seven Churches of Asia 349 

Conclusion 362 

Appendix 377 


North-east View of Petra, Frontispiece. Pag« 

Views of the Exterior and Interior of Tombs . . . 190, 191 

El Deir ib. 

Corinthian Columns in Petra 194 

Tomb in Petra 198 

BirsNimrood 304 



No subject can be of greater importance, either to the 
unbeliever or to the Christian, than an investigation of 
the evidence of Christianity. The former, if his mind 
be not fettered by the strongest prejudice, and if he be 
actuated in the least by a spirit of free and fair inquiry, 
cannot disavow his obligation to examine its claim to a 
divine origin. He cannot rest secure in his unbelief, to 
the satisfaction of his own mind, without manifest dan- 
ger of the most fatal error, till he has impartially weighed 
all the reasons that may be urged on its behalf. The 
proof of a negative is acknowledged and felt to be dif- 
ficult ; and it can never, in any case, be attained till all 
direct and positive evidence to the contrary be com- 
pletely destroyed. And this, at least, must be done 
before it can be proved that Christianity is not true. 
Without this careful and candid examination, all gratui- 
tous assumptions and fanciful speculations, all hypotheti- 
cal reasonings or analogical inferences, that seem to 
militate against the truth of religion, may be totally 
erroneous ; and though they may tend to excite a trans- 
ient doubt, they cannot justify a settled unbelief. Being 
exclusively regarded, or being united to a misappre- 
hension of the real nature of the Christian religion, the 
understanding may embrace them as convincing; but 
such conviction is neither rational nor consistent, it is 
only a misapplication of the name of freethinking. For, 
as Christianity appeals to reason and submits its cre- 
dentials, — as it courts and commands the most trying 



scrutiny, that scrutiny the unbehever is bound, upon his 
own principles, to en^ge in. If he be fearless of 
wavering in his unbelief, he will not shrink from the 
inquiry ; or, if truth be his object, he will not resist the 
only means of its attainment, that he may either disprove 
what he could only doubt of before, or yield to the con- 
viction of positive evidence and undoubted truth. This 
unhesitating challenge religion gives ; and that man is 
neither a champion of infidelity, nor a lover of wisdom 
or of truth, who will disown or decline it. 

To the believer such a subject is equally important 
and interesting. The apathy of nominal Christians, in 
the present day, is often contrasted with the zeal of 
those who first became obedient to the faith. The 
moral influence of the Christian religion is not what it 
has been, or what it ought to be. The difference in the 
character of its professors may be greatly attributed to a 
fainter impression and less confident assurance of its 
truth. Those early converts who witnessed the mira- 
cles of our Lord and of his apostles, and heard their 
divine doctrine, and they who received the immediate 
tradition of those who both saw and heard them, and 
who could themselves compare the moral darkness from 
which they had emerged, with the marvellous light of 
the gospel, founded their faith upon evidence; pos- 
sessed the firmest conviction of the truth ; were distin- 
guished by their virtues, as well as by their profession, 
according to the testimony even of their enemies ;^ che- 
rished the consolations, and were inspired by the hopes 
of religion ; and lived and died, actuated by the hope 
of immortality and the certainty of a future state. The 
contrast, unhappily, needs no elucidation. The lives of 
professing Christians, in general, cease to add a confir- 
mation to the truth of Christianity, while they have often 
been the plea of infidels against it. Yet religion and 
human nature are still the same as they were when men 
were first called Christians, and when the believers in 

' Plinii Epist. lib. x. ep. 97 ; Tertul. Ap. c. 2 ; Gibbon, c. 15, vol, 
ii. p. 315, 317, edit. Lond. 1815. 


Jesus dishonoured not his name. But they sought more 
than a passive and unexamining belief. They knew in 
whom they beUeved ; they felt the power of every truth 
which they professed. And the same cause, in active 
operation, would be productive of the same effects. 
The same strong and unwavering faith established on 
reason and conscious conviction, would be creative of 
the same peace and joy in believing, and of all their 
accompanying fruits. And as a mean of destroying the 
distinction, wherever it exists, between the profession 
and the reality of faith, it is ever the prescribed duty of 
all, who profess to believe in the gospel, to search and 
to try, " to prove all things, and hold fast to that which 
is good ;" and to " be able to give an answer to every 
one that asketh them a reason of the hope that is in 

To the sincere Christian it must ever be an object of 
the highest interest to search into the reason of his hope. 
The farther that he searches, the firmer w411 be his 
belief. Knowledge is the fruit of mental labour, the 
food and the feast of the mind. In the pursuit of know- 
ledge, the greater the excellence of the subject of inquiry, 
the deeper ought to be the interest, the more ardent the 
investigation, and the dearer to the mind the acquisition 
of the truth. And that knowledge which immediately 
affects the soul, which tends to exalt the moral nature 
and enlarge the religious capacities of man, which per- 
tains to eternity, which leads not merely to the contem- 
plation of the works of the great Architect of the 
universe, but seeks also to discover an accredited re- 
velation of his will and a way to his favour, and which 
rests not in its progress till it find assurance of faith or 
complete conviction, a witness without, as well as a 
witness within, is surely "like unto a treasure which a 
man found hid in a field, and sold all that he had and 
bought it." And it is delightful to have every doubt 
removed by the positive proof of the truth of Christianity, 
— to feel that conviction of its certainty, which infidelity 
can never impart to her votaries, — and to receive that 


assurance of the faith, which is as superior in the hope 
which it communicates, as in the certainty on which it 
rests, to the cheerless and disquieting doubts of the un- 
beheving mind. Instead of being a mere prejudice of 
education, which may be easily shaken, belief, thus 
founded on reason, becomes fixed and immovable; 
and all the scoffin^s of the scorner, and speculations of 
the infidel, lie as lightly on the mind, or pass as imper- 
ceptibly over it, and make as little impression there, as 
the spray upon a rock. 

In premising a few remarks, introductory to a sketch 
of the prophecies, little can be said on the general and 
comprehensive evidence of Christianity. The selection 
of a part implies no disparagement to the whole. Ample 
means for the confirmation of our fkith are within our 
reach. Newton, Bacon, and Locke, whose names stand 
pre-eminent in human science, to which they opened a 
path not penetrated before, found proof sufficient for the 
complete satisfaction of their minds. The internal evi- 
dence could not be stronger than it is. There are mani- 
fold instances of undesigned coincidences in the Acts 
and Epistles of the apostles, which give intrinsic proof 
that they are genuine and authentic. No better precepts, 
no stronger motives than the gospel contains, have ever 
been inculcated. No system of religion has ever existed 
in the world at all to be compared to it ; and none can 
be conceived more completely adapted to the necessities 
and nature of a sinful being like man, endowed with the 
faculty of reason and with capacities of religion. And 
the miracles were of such a nature as excluded the idea 
of artifice, or delusion ; — they were wrought openly in 
the presence of multitudes ; they testified the benevo- 
lence of a Saviour, as well as the power of the Son of 
God. The disciples of Christ could not be deceived 
respecting them ; for they were themselves endowed 
with the gift of tongues, and of prophesying, and with 
the power of working miracles ; they devoted their lives 
to the propagation of the gospel, in opposition to every 
human interest, and amidst continual sufferings. The 



Christian religion was speedily propagated throughout 
the whole extent of the Roman empire, and even beyond 
its bounds. The written testimony remains of many 
who became converts to the truth, and martyrs to its 
cause : and the most zealous and active enemies of our 
faith acknowledged the truth of the miracles, and at- 
tributed them to the agency of evil spirits. Yet all this 
accumulation of evidence is disregarded, and every tes- 
timony is rejected unheard, because ages have since 
intervened, and because it bears witness to works that 
are miraculous. Though these general objections against 
the truth of Christianity have been ably answered and 
exposed, yet they may fairly be adduced as confirmatory 
of the proof which results from the fulfilment of prophecy, 
and as binding infidels to its investigation. For it sup- 
phes that evidence which the enemies of religion, or 
those who are weak in the faith, would require, which 
applies to the present time, and which stands not in 
need of any testimony, — which is always attainable by 
the researches of the inquisitive, and often obvious to the 
notice of all, — and which past, present, and coming 
events alike unite in verifying ; — it aflfords an increasing 
evidence, and receives additional attestations in each 
succeeding age. 

But, while some subterfuge has been sought for 
evading the force of the internal evidence, and the con- 
viction which a belief in the miracles would infallibly 
produce, and while every collateral proof is neglected, 
the prophecies also are set aside without investigation, 
as of too vague and indefinite a nature to be applied, 
with certainty, to the history either of past ages or of 
the present. A very faint view of the prophecies of 
the Old and New Testament Avill suflSce to rectify this 
equally easy and erroneous conclusion. Although some 
of the prophecies, separately considered, may appear 
ambiguous and obscure, yet a general view of them all 
— of the harmony which prevails throughout the pro- 
phecies, and of their adaptation to the facts they predict 
— must strike the mind of the most careless inquirer 


with an apprehension that they are the dictates of Om- 
niscience. But many of the prophecies are as explicit 
and direct as it is possible that they could have been ; 
and, as history confirms their truth, so they sometimes 
tend to its illustration, of which our future inquiry will 
furnish us with examples. And if the prophetical part 
of Scripture, which refers to the rise and fall of king- 
doms, had been more explicit than it is, it would have 
appeared to encroach on the Tree agency of man ; — it 
would have been a communication of the foreknowledge 
of events which men would have grossly abused and 
perverted to other purposes rather than to the establish- 
ment of the truth ; and, instead of being a stronger 
evidence of Christianity, it would have been considered 
as the cause of the accomplishment of the events pre- 
dicted, by the unity and combination it would have 
excited among Christians; and thus have afforded to 
the unbeliever a more reasonable objection against the 
evidence of prophecy than any that can be now alleged. 
It is in cases wherein they could not be abused, or 
wherein the agents instrumental in their fulfilment were 
utterly ignorant of their existence, that the prophecies 
are as descriptive as history itself. But whenever the 
knowledge of future events would have proved prejudi- 
cial to the peace and happiness of the world, they are 
couched in allegory, which their accomplishment alone 
can expound ; and drawn with that degree of light and 
shade that the faithfulness of the picture may best be 
seen from the proper point of observation, the period of 
their completion. Prophecy must thus, in many in- 
stances, have that darkness which is impenetrable at 
first, as well as that light which shall be able to dispel 
every doubt at last ; and, as it cannot be an evidence 
of Christianity until the event demonstrate its own truth, 
it may remain obscure till history become its interpreter, 
and not be perfectly obvious till the fulfilment of the 
whole series with which it is connected. But the gene- 
ral and often sole objection against the evidence fi:om 
the prophecies, that they are all vague and ambiguous, 


may best be answered and set aside by a simple exhibition 
of those numerous and distinct predictions which have 
been Hterally accompHshed ; and therefore to this hmited 
view of them the following pages shall chiefly be con- 

Little need be said on the nature of proof from pro- 
phecy. That it is the effect of divine interposition can- 
not be disputed. It is equivalent to any miracle, and is 
of itself evidently miraculous. The foreknowledge of 
the actions of intelligent and moral agents is one of the 
most incomprehensible attributes of the Deity, and is 
exclusively a divine perfection. The past, the present, 
and the future are alike open to his view, and to his 
alone ; and there can be no stronger proof of the inter- 
position of the Most High than that which prophecy 
affords. Of all the attributes of the God of the uni- 
verse, his prescience has bewildered and baffled the 
most all the powers of human perception ; and an evi- 
dence of the exercise of this perfection in the revelation 
of what the infinite Mind alone could make known, is 
the seal of God, which can never be counterfeited, 
aflfixed to the truth which it attests. Whether that evi- 
dence has been aflforded, is a matter of investigation ; 
but if it has unquestionably been given, the effect of 
superhuman agency is apparent, and the truth of what 
it was given to prove, does not admit of a doubt. If 
the prophecies of the Scriptures can be proved to be 
genuine ; if they be of such a nature as no foresight of 
man could possibly have predicted ; if the events fore- 
told in them were described hundreds or even thousands 
of years before those events became parts of the history 
of man ; and if the history itself correspond with the 
prediction ; then the evidence which the prophecies 
impart is a sign and a wonder to every age : no clearer 
testimony or greater assurance of the truth can be given ; 
and if men do not beUeve Moses and the prophets, 
neither would they be persuaded, though one rose from 
the dead. Even if one were to rise from the dead, 
evidence of the fact must precede conviction : and if 


the mind be satisfied of the truth of prophecy, the 
result, in either case, is the same. The voice of Om- 
nipotence alone could call the dead from the tomb ; the 
voice of Omniscience alone could tell all that lay hid in 
dark futurity, which to man is as impenetrable as the 
mansions of the dead ; and both are alike the voice of 

Of the antiquity of the Scriptures there is the amplest 
proof. The books of the Old Testament were not, like 
other writings, detached and unconnected efforts of 
genius and research, or mere subjects of amusement or 
instruction. They were essential to the constitution of 
the Jewish state ; the possession of them was a great 
cause of the peculiarities of that people ; and they con- 
tain their moral and their civil law, and their history, as 
well as the prophecies, of which they were the records 
and the guardians. They were received by the Jews as 
of divine authority ; and as such they were published 
and preserved. They were proved to be ancient 
eighteen hundred years ago.* And in express reference^ 
to the prophecies concerning the Messiah, contained in 
them, they were denominated by Tacitus, the ancient 
writings of the priests. Instead of being secluded from 
observation, they were translated into Greek above two 
hundred and fifty years before the Christian era ; and 
they were read in the synagogues every Sabbath-day. 
The most ancient part of them was received as divinely 
inspired, and was preserved in their own language, by 
the Samaritans, who were at enmity with the Jews. 
They have ever been sacredly kept unaltered, in a more 
remarkable degree, and with more scrupulous care, than 
any other compositions whatever.^ And the antiquity 

' Josephus c. Apion. 

2 There are not wanting proofs of the most scrupulous care of 
the Hebrew text on the part of the Jews : they have counted the 
large and small sections, the verses, the words, and even the 
letters in some of the books. They have likewise reckoned which - 
is the middle letter of the Pentateuch, which is the middle clause 
of each book, and how many times each letter of the alphabet 
occurs in all the Hebrew Scriptures. This, at least, shows that 


and authenticity of them rest so little on Christian testi- 
mony alone, that it is from the records of our enemies 
that they are confirmed, and from which is derived the 
evidence of our faith. Even the very language in which 
the Old Testament Scriptures were originally written, 
had ceased to be spoken before the coming of Christ. 
No stronger evidence of their antiquity could be alleged, 
than what is indisputably true ; and if it were to be 
questioned, every other truth of ancient history must first 
be set aside. 

That the prediction was prior to the event, many facts 
in the present state of the world abundantly testify ; and 
'many prophecies remain even yet to be fulfilled. But, 
independently of external testimony, the prophecies them- 
selves bear intrinsic marks of their antiquity and of 
their truth. Predictions concerning the same events are 
sometimes delivered by a succession of prophets. Some- 
times the same prophecy concerning any city or nation 
gradually meets its fulfilment during a long protracted 
period, where the truth of the prediction must be unfold- 
ed by degrees. They are, in general, so interwoven with 
the history of the Jews ; so casually introduced in their 
application to the surrounding nations ; so frequently 
concealed in their purport, even from the honoured but 
unconscious organs of their communication, and pre- 
serving throughout so entire a consistency ; so diflferent 
in the modes of their narration, and each part preserving 
its own particular character ; so delivered without form 
or system ; so shadowed sometimes under symbols ; so 
complete when compared and combined ; so apparently 
unconnected when disjoined, and revealed in such a 
variety of modes and expressions, that the very manner 
of their conveyance forbids the idea of artifice; or if 
they were false, nothing could admit of more easy 
detection ; if true, nothing could be more impossible to 
have been conceived by man. And they must either be 
a number of incoherent and detached pretensions to 

the Jews were religiously careful to preserve the literal sense of 
Scripture. — (Allen's Modern Judaism; Simon, Crit. Hist. 6, SB.'i 


inspiration, that can bear no scrutiny, and that have no 
reference to futurity but what deceivers might have 
devised : or else, as the only alternative, they give such 
a comprehensive, yet minute representation of future 
events — so various, yet so distinct — so distant, yet so 
true — that none but He who knoweth all things could 
have revealed them to man, and none but those who 
have hardened their hearts and ^;losed their eyes, can 
forbear from feeling and from perceiving them to be cre- 
dentials of the truth, clear as light from heaven. To 
justify their pretensions to their contemporaries, the 
prophets referred, on particular occasions, to some ap- 
proaching circumstance as a proof of their prophetic' 
spirit, and as a symbol or representation of a more 
distant and important event. They could thus be dis- 
tinguished in their own age from false prophets, if their 
predictions were then true : and they ventured to raise, 
from the succeeding ages of the world, that veil which 
no uninspired mortal could touch. They spoke of a 
deliverer of the human race ; they described the desola- 
tion of cities and of nations, whose greatness was then 
unshaken, and whose splendour has ever since been 
unrivalled ; and their predictions were of such a charac- 
ter, that time would infallibly refute or realize them. 

Religion deserves a candid examination, and it de- 
mands nothing more. The fulfilment of prophecy forms 
part of the evidence of Christianity. And are the pro- 
phecies false, or are they true ? Is their fallacy exposed, 
or their truth ratified by the event ? And whether are 
they thus proved to be the delusions of impostors, or the 
dictates of inspiration ? To the solution of these ques- 
tions a patient and impartial inquiry alone is requisite ; 
reason alone is appealed to, and no other faith is here 
necessary but that which arises as the natural and spon- 
taneous fruit of rational conviction. The man who 
withholds this inquiry, and who will not be impartially 
guided by its result, is not only reckless of his fate, but 
devoid of that of which he prides himself the most, — 
even of all true liberality of sentiment : he is the bigot 


of infidelity, who will not believe the truth because it is the 
truth. It is incontestable, that, in a variety of ways, a mar- 
vellous change has taken place in the religious and politi- 
cal state of the world since the prophecies were delivered. 
A system of rehgion, widely different from any that then 
existed, has emanated from the land of Judea, and has 
spread over the civilized world. Many remarkable cir- 
cumstances attended its origin and its progress. The 
history of the life and character of its Founder, as it 
was written at the time, and acknowledged as authentic 
by those who beUeved on him, is so completely without 
a parallel, that it has often attracted the admiration ana 
excited the astonishment of infidels ; and one of them even 
asks, if it be possible that the sacred Personage, whose his- 
tory the Scripture contains, should be himself a mere man , 
and acknowledges that the fiction of such a character is more 
inconceivable than the reality.^ He possessed no temporal 
power, — he inculcated every virtue, — his life was spotless 
and perfect as his doctrine, — he was put to death as a cri- 
minal. His religion was rapidly propagated, — his follow- 
ers were persecuted, but their cause prevailed. The 
purity of his doctrine was maintained for a time, but it 
was afterwards corrupted. Yet Christianity has effected 
a great change. Since its establishment, the worship 
of heathen deities has ceased ; all sacrifices have been 
abolished, even where human victims were immolated 
before ; and slavery, which prevailed in every state, is 
now unknown in every Christian country throughout 
Europe; — knowledge has been increased, and many 
nations have been civilized. The Christian religion has 
been extended over a great part of the world, and it is 
still enlarging its boundary ; and the Jews, though it 
originated among them, yet continue to reject it. In 
regard to the political changes or revolutions of states, 
since the prophecies concerning them were delivered, — 
Jerusalem was destroyed and laid waste by the Romans : 
the land of Palestine, and the surrounding countries, 

' Rousseau's Emilius, vol. ii. p. 215, quoted in Brewster's Testi- 
monies, p. 133. 



are now thinly inhabited, and, in comparison of their 
former fertiUty, have been almost converted into deserts : 
the Jews have been scattered among the nations, and 
remain to this day a dispersed and yet a distinct people : 
Egypt, one of the first and most powerful of nations, 
has long ceased to be a kingdom : Nineveh is no more : 
Babylon is now a ruin : the Persian empire succeeded 
to the Babylonian : the Grecian empire succeeded to the 
Persian, and the Roman to the Grecian : the old Roman 
empire has been divided into several kingdoms : Rome 
itself became the seat of a government of a different 
nature from any other that ever existed in the world : 
the doctrine of the gospel was transformed into a system 
of spiritual tyranny and of temporal power : the authority 
of the pope was held supreme in Europe for many ages : 
the Saracens obtained a sudden and mighty power; 
overran great part of Asia and of Europe ; and many 
parts of Christendom suffered much from their incursions : 
the Arabs maintain their warlike character, and retain 
possession of their own land : the Africans are a humble 
race, and are still treated as slaves : colonies have been 
spread from Europe to Asia, and are enlarging there : 
the Turkish empire attained to great power ; it continued 
to rise for the space of several centuries, but it paused 
in its progress, has since decayed, and now evidently 
verges to its fall. These form some of the most promi- 
nent and remarkable facts of the history of the world 
from the ages of the prophets to the present time ; and 
if to each and all of them, from the first to the last, an 
index is to be found in the prophecies, we may warrant- 
ably conclude that they could only have been revealed 
by the Ruler among the nations, and that they afford 
more than human testimony of the truth of Christianity. 
In the following treatise, an attempt is made to give 
a general and concise sketch of such of the prophecies 
as have been distinctly foretold and clearly fulfilled, and 
as may be deemed suflftcient to illustrate the truth of 
Christianity. And, if one unbeliever be led the first 
step to a full and candid investigation of the truth,— if 


one doubting mind be convinced, — if one Christian be 
confirmed more strongly in his belief, — if one ray of the 
hope of better things to come arise from hence, to enli- 
ven a single sorrowing heart, — if one atom be added to 
the mass of evidence, the author of this little work 
will neither have lost his reward nor spent his labour in 



It is one of the remarkable peculiarities of the Jewish 
religion, that while it claimed superiority over every 
other, and was distinguished from them all, as alone 
inculcating the worship of the only living and true God, 
and while it was perfectly suited to the purpose for 
which it was designed, it acknowledged that it was it- 
self only preparatory to a future, a better, and perfect 
revelation. It was professedly adapted and limited to 
one particular people ; — it was confined, in many of its 
institutions, to the land of Judea ; its morality was in- 
complete ; — its ritual observances were numerous, oppres- 
sive, and devoid of any inherent merit ;^ and being partial, 
imperfect, and temporary, and full of promises of better 
things to come, for which it was the only means of pre- 
paring the way, it was evidently intended to be the 
presage of another. It was not even calculated of itself 
to fulfil the promise which it records as given unto 
Abraham, that in him all the families of the earth should 
be blessed ; though its original institution was founded 

' "Because they had not executed my judgments, but had de- 
spised my statutes, and had polluted my Sabbaths, and their eyes 
were after their fathers' idols ; wherefore I gave them also sta- 
tutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not 
live." (Ezek. xx. 24, 25 ; Acts xv. 10.) 


upon this promise, and although the accomplishment of 
it v/as the great end to be promoted, by the distinction 
and separation of his descendants from all the nations of 
the earth. But it was subservient to this end, though it 
could not directly accomplish it ; for the coming of a 
Saviour was the great theme of prophecy, and the uni- 
versal belief of the Jews. From the commencement to 
the conclusion of the Scriptures of the Old Testament, it 
is predicted or prefigured. They represent the first act 
of divine justice, which was exercised on the primo- 
genitors of the human race, as mingled with divine 
mercy. Before their seclusion from paradise, a gleam of 
hope was seen to shine around them, in the promise of a 
suffering but triumphant Deliverer. To Abraham the 
same promise was conveyed in a more definite form. 
Jacob spoke distinctly of the coming of a Saviour. 
Moses, the legislator and leader of the Hebrews, pro- 
phesied of another lawgiver that God was to raise up in 
a future age.* And while these early and general pre- 
dictions occur in the historical part of Scripture, which 
sufficiently mark the purposed design of the Mosaic dis- 
pensation, the books that are avowedly prophetic are 
clearly descriptive, as a minuter search will attest, of the 
advent of a Saviour, and of every thing pertaining to the 
kingdom he was to establish. Many things, apparently 
contradictory and irreconcilable, are foretold as referring 
to a great Deliverer, whose dignity, whose character, and 
whose office were altogether peculiar, and in whom the 
fate of human nature is represented as involved. Many 
passages, that can bear no other application, clearly tes- 
tify of him : Thy king cometh — thy salvation cometh — 
the Redeemer shall come to Zion — the Lord cometh — 
the messenger of the covenant, he shall come — blessed 
is he that cometh in the name of the Lord,^ are expres- 
sions that occur throughout the prophecies. These 
unequivocally speak of the coming of a Saviour. But 

» Deut. xviii. 15, 18. 

3 Zech. ix. 9 ; Isa. lix. 20 ; Isa. Ixii. 11; Mai. iii. 1; Isa. xxxv. 
4 ; Ps. cxviiJ. 26 ; Dan. ix. 26, 26. 


were every other proof wanting, the prophecy of Daniel 
is sufficient incontrovertibly to establish the fact, which 
we affirm in the very words, — that the coming of the. 
Messiah is foretold in the Old Testament. The same 
fact is confirmed by the belief of the Jews in every age. 
It is so deeply and indelibly impressed on their minds, 
that notwithstanding the dispersion of their race through- 
out the world, and the disappointment of their hopes for 
eighteen hundred years after the prescribed period of 
his coming, the expectation of the Messiah still forms 
a bond of union which no distance can dissolve, and 
which no earthly power can destroy. 

As the Old Testament does contain prophecies of a 
Saviour that was to appear in the world, the only ques- 
tion to be resolved is, whether all that it testifies of him 
be fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ? On a subject 
so interesting, so extensive and important, which has 
been so amply discussed by many able divines, the 
reader is referred to the works of Barrow, of Pearson, 
and of Clarke. A summary view must be very imper- 
fect and, incomplete ; but it is here given, as it may 
serve, to the general reader, to exhibit the connection 
between the Old and the New Testament, and as of it- 
self it may be deemed conclusive of the argument in 
favour of Christianity. 

A few of the leading features of the prophecies con- 
cerning Christ, and their fulfilment, shall be traced ; as 
they mark the time of his appearance, the place of his 
birth, and the family out of which he was to arise ; his 
life and character, his miracles, his sufferings, and his 
death ; the nature of his doctrine, the design and the 
effect of his coming, and the extent of his kingdom. 

The time of the Messiah's appearance in the world, 
as predicted in the Old Testament, is defined by a num- 
ber of concurring circumstances, that fix it to the very 
date of the advent of Christ. The last blessing of Ja- 
cob to his sons, when he commanded them to gather 
themselves together that he might tell them what should 
befall them in the last days, contains this prediction con- 



cemiog Judah: "The sceptre shall not depart fh)m 
Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shi- 
loh come ; and unto him shall the gathering of the peo- 
ple be.'" The date fixed by this prophecy for the 
coming of Shiloh, or the Saviour, was not to exceed the 
time that the descendants of Judah were to continue a 
united people — that a king should reign among them — 
that they should be governed by their own laws, and 
that their judges were to be from among their brethren. 
The prophecy of Malachi adds another standard for 
measuring the time ; " Behold, I will send my messenger, 
and he shall prepare the way before me ; and the Lord 
whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even 
the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in ; 
behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts."* No 
words can be more expressive of the coming of the 
promised Messiah; and they as clearly imply his ap- 
pearance in the temple before it should be destroyed. 
But it may also be here remarked, that Malachi was 
the last of the prophets : with his predictions the vision 
and the prophecy were sealed up, or the canon of the 
Old Testament was completed. Though many prophets 
immediately preceded him, after his time there was no 
prophet in Israel ; but all the Jews, whether of ancient 
or modern times, look for a messenger to prepare the 
way of the Lord, immediately before his coming. The 
long succession of prophets had drawn to a close ; and 
the concluding words of the Old Testament, subjoined 
to an admonition to remember the law of Moses, import 
that the next prophet would be the harbinger of the 
Messiah. Another criterion of the time is thus imparted. 
In regard to the advent of the Messiah, before the 
destruction of the second temple, the words of Haggai 
are remarkably explicit: " The Desire of all nations shall 
come ; and I will fill this house with glory, saith the 
Lord of hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be 
greater than of the former ; and in this place will I give 
peace."'' The contrast which the prophet had just 
> Gen. xlix. 10. 2 Mai. in. 1. ^ Hag. ii. 7, 9. 


drawn between the glory of Solomon's temple and that 
which had been erected in its stead, to which he declares 
it was in comparison as nothing ; the solemn manner of 
its introduction, *•• Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Yet once, 
it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens and the 
earth ;" the excellency of the latter house excelling that 
of gold and silver ; the expression so characteristic of 
the Messiah, the " desire of all nations ;" and the bless- 
ing of peace that was to accompany his coming, all 
tend to denote that He alone is spoken of, who was the 
hope of Israel, and of whom all the prophets did testify, 
and that his presence would give to that temple a greater 
glory than that of the former. The Saviour was thus 
to appear, according to the prophecies of the Old Tes- 
tament, during the time of the continuance of the 
kingdom of Judah, previous to the demolition of the 
temple, and immediately subsequent to the next prophet. 
But the time is rendered yet more definite. In the pro- 
phecies of Daniel, the kingdom of the Messiah is not 
only foretold as commencing in the time of the fourth 
monarchy or Roman empire ; but the express number of 
years that were to precede his coming is plainly inti- 
mated : " Seventy weeks are determined upon thy peo- 
ple, and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, 
and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation 
for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, 
and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint 
the Most Holy. Know therefore, and understand, that 
from the going forth of the commandment to restore and 
to build Jerusalem, unto the Messiah the Prince, shall 
be seven weeks and threescore and two weeks."* 
Computation by weeks of years was common among the 
Jews, and every seventh was the sabbatical year; 
seventy weeks thus amounted to four hundred and 
ninety years. In these words the prophet marks the 
very time, and uses the very name of Messiah the 
Prince ; so entirely is all ambiguity done away. 

The plainest inference may be drawn from these pro- 

^ ' Dan. ix. 24, 25. 


phecies. All of them, while, in every respect, they pre- 
suppose the most perfect knowledge of futurity ; while 
they were unquestionably delivered and publicly known 
for ages previous to the time to which they referred ; 
while there is the testimony, from great authorities 
among the Jews, of their application to the time of the 
Messiah;* and while they refer to different contingent 
and unconnected events, utterly undeterminable and 
inconceivable by all human sagacity ; — accord in perfect 
unison to a single precise period, where all their differ- 
ent lines terminate at once — the very fulness of time 
when Jesus appeared. A king then reigned over the 
Jews in their own land ; they were governed by their 
own laws ; and the council of their nation exercised its 
authority and power. Before that period, the other 
tribes were extinct or dispersed among the nations. 
Judah alone remained, and the last sceptre in Israel had 
not then departed from it. Every stone of the temple 
was then unmoved : it was the admiration of the Ro- 
mans, and might have stood for ages. But in a short 
space, all these concurring testimonies to the time of the 
advent of the Messiah passed away. About the very 
time when Christ, in the twelfth year of his age, first 
publicly appeared in the temple, about his Father's 
business, Archelaus the king was dethroned and ba- 
nished, Coponius was appointed procurator, and the 
kingdom of Judea, the last remnant of the greatness of 
Israel, was debased into a part of the province of Syria.* 
The sceptre was smitten from the hands of the tribe of 
Judah ; the crown fell from their heads ; their glory 
departed ; and soon after the death of Christ, of their 
temple one stone was not left upon another ; their com- 
monwealth itself became as complete a ruin, and was 
broken in pieces ; and they have ever since been scat- 
tered throughout the world, a name, but not a nation. 
After the lapse of nearly four hundred years posterior to 

' Grotius de Verit. 1. v. c. xiv ; Opera, torn. iv. p. 80, ed. Lond. 
1679. Pearson on the Creed, art. ii. 
2 Joseph. Antiq. lib. xvii. c. 16, (al. 13.) xviii. 1. 


the time of Malachi, another prophet appeared, who was 
the herald of the Messiah. And the testimony of Jose- 
phus confirms the account given in Scripture of John 
the Baptist/ Every mark that denoted the time of the 
coming of the Messiah, was erased soon after the cruci- 
fixion of Christ, and could never afterwards be renewed. 
And, with respect to the prophecies of Daniel, it is 
remarkable, at this remote period, how little discrepancj 
of opinion has existed among the most learned men, as 
to the space from the time of the passing out of the edict 
to rebuild Jerusalem, after the Babylonish captivity, to 
the commencement of the Christian era, and the subse- 
quent events foretold in the prophecy. Our design pre- 
cludes detail : but the minute coincidence of the narrative 
of the New Testament and the history of the Jews, wdth 
the subdivisions of time which it enumerates, are addi- 
tional attestations of its general accuracy as applicable to 
Christ. This coincidence is the more striking, as it is 
unnoticed by the relaters of the facts which establish it, 
and it has been left, without the possibility of any adap- 
tation of the events, to the discovery of modem chronolo- 
gists. The following observations of Dr. Samuel Clarke, 
partly communicated to him, as he acknowledges, by Sir 
Isaac Newton, elucidate this prophecy so clearly, that 
every reader will forgive their insertion : — " When the 
angel says to Daniel, Seventy weeks are determined upon 
thy people, Sfc. ; was this written after the event } Or 
can it reasonably be ascribed to chance, that from the 
seventh year of Artaxerxes the king, (when Ezra went 
up from Babylon unto Jerusalem with a commission to 
restore the government of the Jews,) to the death of 
Christ, (from ann. JYabon. 290, to ann. JYabon. 780,) 
should be precisely 490 (seventy weeks of) years ? 
When the angel tells Daniel, that in threescore and twa 
weeks, the street (of Jerusalem) should be built again, 
and the wall, even in troublous times ; (but this, in 
troublous times not like those that should be under Mes- 
siah the Prince when he should come to reign ;) was 
' Joseph. Antiq. lib. xviii. c. 5, (6,) 2. 


this written after the event ? Or can it reasoiiably be 
ascribed to chance, that from the 28th year of Artax- 
erxes, when the walls were finished, to the birth of 
Christ, (from ann. JVabon. 311 to 745,) should be pre- 
cisely 434 (62 weeks of) years ? When Daniel farther 
says, And he shall confirm (or, nevertheless he shall 
confirm) the covenant with many for one week ; was 
this written after the event ? Or can it reasonably be 
ascribed to chance, that from the death of Christ {ann. 
Dom. 33) to the command ^iven first to Peter to preach 
to Cornelius and the Gentiles, {ann. Dom. 40,) should 
be exactly seven (one week of) years? When he still 
adds, And in the midst of the week, {and in half a week,) 
he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and 
for the overs^preading of abominations he shall make it 
dJesolate ; was this written after the ? Or can 
it with any reason be ascribed to chance, that from 
Vespasian's march into Judea in the spring ann. Bom. 
67, to the taking of Jerusalem by Titus in the autumn 
ann. Dom. 70, should be half a septenary of years, or 
three years and a half?"* 

That the time at which the promised Messiah was to 
appear is clearly defined in these prophecies ; that the 
expectation of the coming of a great king or deliverer, 
was then prevalent, not only among the Jews, but among 
all the eastern nations, in consequence of these prophe- 
cies ; that it afterwards excited that people to revolt, and 
proved the cause of their greater destruction, — the im- 
partial and unsuspected evidence of heathen authors is 
combined with the reluctant and ample testimony of the 
Jews themselves, to attest. 

Tacitus, Suetonius, Josephus, and Philo agree in 
testifying the antiquity of the prophecies, and their 
acknowledged reference to that period.^ Even the Jews, 

' Clarke's Works, fol. edit. vol. ii. p. 721. 

2 "PIuribuspersuasioinerat,an<t9Missacerdotum Uteris contineri, 
eo ipso tempore fore, ut valesceret Oriens, profectique Judcsa rerum 
potirentur. Quae ambages Vespasianum et Titum praedixerant. 
Sed vulgus, (Judaeorum,) more humanie cupidinis, sibi tantam 
fatorum magnitudinem interpretati, ne adversis quidem ad vera 

Christ's jnativity. 27 

.': this day, own 4;hat the time when*their Messiah ought 
to have appeared, according to their prophecies, is long 
since passed, and they attribute the delay of his coming 
to the sinfulness of their nation. And thus, from the 
distinct prophecies themselves, from the testimony of 
profane historians, and from the concessions of the Jews, 
every requisite proof is afforded that Christ appeared 
when all the concurring circumstances of the time denoted 
the prophesied period of his advent. 

The predictions contained in the Old Testament re- 
specting both the family out of which the Messiah was 
to arise, and the place of his birth, are almost as circum- 
stantial, and are equally appHcable to Christ, as those 
which refer to the time of his appearance. He was to 
be an Israelite, of the tribe of Judah, of the family of 
David, and of the town of Bethlehem. The two former 
of these particulars are implied in the promise made to 
Abraham — in the prediction of Moses — in the prophetic 
benediction of Jacob to Judah — and in the reason assign- 
ed for the superiority of that tribe, because out of it the 
chief ruler should arise. And the two last, that the 
Messiah was to be a descendant of David and a native 
of Bethlehem, are expressly affirmed. There shall come 
forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse ^ and a branch shall 
grow out of his roots ; and the Spirit of the Lord shall 
rest upon him^ That this prophecy refers to the deliver- 
er of the human race, is evident from the whole of the 
succeeding chapter, which is descriptive of the kingdom 
of the Messiah, of the calling of the Gentiles, and of the 
restoration of Israel. The same fact is predicted in 
many passages of the prophecies ; — " Thine house and 
thy kingdom shall be estabUshed for ever before thee. — 
f I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn 

mutabantur." — (Tacit. Hist. lib. v. cap. xiii.) " Percrebuerat Oriente 
i toto vetus et constans opinio, esse in fatis, ut eo tempore Judaea profecti 
rerum potirentur. Id de imp-^rio Romano, quantum postea eventu 
patuit, prsedictum Judaei ad se trahentes, rebellarunt." Suet, in Vesp. 
lib. viii. c. iv. Julius Marathus, quoted by Suetonius, lib. ii. c. xciv. 
Joseph, de Bello, lib. vi. c. xxxi. (al. c. 5, § 4.) Philo de Prsem. et 
Poen. pp. 923, 924. Clarke, &c. &c. ' Isaiah xi. 1. 


unto David my servant, Thy seed wtll I establish for 
ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Be- 
hold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise 
unto David a righteous branch, and a king shall rei^ 
and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in 
the earth. — This is his name whereby he shall be called, 
THE Lord our righteousness."* The place of the 
birth of the Messiah is thus clearly foretold : — " Thou 
Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the 
thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth, 
unto me," or, as the Hebrew word implies,* shall he be 
born, " that is to be ruler in Israel ; whose goings forth 
have been from of old, f:3m everlasting."^ — That all 
these predictions were fulfilled in Jesus Christ ; that he 
was of that country, tribe, and family, of the house and 
lineage of David, and born in Bethlehem, — we have the 
fullest evidence in the testimony of all the evangelists ; 
in two distinct accounts of the genealogies, (by natural 
and legal succession,) which, according to the custom of 
the Jews, were carefully preserved ; in the acquiescence 
of the enemies of Christ to the truth of the fact, against 
which there is not a single surmise in history ; and in 
the appeal made by some of the earliest of the Christian 
writers to the records of the census, taken at the very 
time of our Saviour's birth by order of Caesar.'* Here, 
indeed, it is impossible not to be struck with the exact 
fulfilment of prophecies which are apparently contra- 
dictory and irreconcilable, and with the manner in which 
they were providentially accomplished. The spot of 
Christ's nativity was distant from the place of the abode 
of his parents, and the region in which he began his 
ministry was remote from the place of his birth ; and 
another prophecy respecting him was in this manner 
verified : — " The land of Zebulun and the land of 
Naphtali, — ^by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in 
' 2 Sam. vii. 16; Ps. Ixxxix. 3, 4; Jer. xxiii. 6, 6. 

2 Gen. X. 14, xvii. 6 ; 2 Sam. vii. 12, &c. 

3 Micah V. 2. 

4 Justin Mart. Ap. i. p. 55, ed. Thirl. Tert. in Mar. iv. 19, p. 713 
ed. Paris. Barrow. 

Christ's nativity. 29 

Galilee of the nations— the people that walked in dark- 
ness have seen a great Hght ; they that dwell in the land 
of the shadow of death, upon them hath the hght shined."^ 
Thus, the time at which the predicted Messiah was to 
appear, the nation, the tribe, and the family from which 
he was to be descended — and the place of his birth — 
no populous city — but of itself an inconsiderable place, 
were all clearly foretold , and as clearly refer to Jesus 
Christ, — and all meet their completion in him. 

But the facts of his life, and the features of his cha- 
racter, are also drawn with a precision that cannot 
be misunderstood. The obscurity, the meanness, and 
poverty of his external condition are thus represented ; 
— " he shall grow up before the Lord as a tender plant, 
and as a root out of a dry ground ; he hath no form nor 
comehness ; and when we shall see him, there is no 
beauty that we should desire him. Thus saith the Lord, 
— to him w^hom man despiseth, to him whom the nation 
abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, kings shall see and 
arise, princes also shall worship. "^ That such was the 
condition in which Christ appeared, the whole history 
of his life abundantly testifies. And the Jews, looking 
in the pride of their hearts for an earthly king, disregard- 
ed these prophecies concerning him, were deceived by 
their traditions, and found only a stone of stumbling, 
where, if they had searched their Scriptures aright, they 
would have discovered an evidence of the Messiah. " Is 
not this the carpenter's son ? is not this the son of Mary ? 
said they, and they were offended at him." His riding 
in humble triumph into Jerusalem ; his being betrayed 
for thirty pieces of silver, and scourged, and buffeted, 
and spit upon ; the piercing of his hands and of his feet ; 
the last offered draught of vinegar and gall ; the parting 
of his raiment, and casting lots upon his vesture ; the 
manner of his death and of his burial, and his rising 
again without seeing corruption,^ — were all expressly 

' Isa. ix. 1, 2 ; Matt. iv. 16. 2 isa. Hii. 2, xlix. 7. 

3 Zech. ix. 9, xi. 12 ; Isa. 1. 6; Ps. xxii. 16, Ixix. 21, xxii. 18 
Isa. liii. 9; Ps. xvi. 10. 



predicted, and all these predictions were literally ful- 
filled. If all these prophecies admit of any application 
to tlie events of the life of any individual, it can only be 
to that of the author of Christianity. And what other 
religion can produce a single fact which was actually 
foretold of its founder ? 

Though the personal appearance or moral condition 
of the Messiah was represented by the Jewish prophets, 
such as to bespeak no grandeur, his personal character 
is described as of a higher order than that of the sons of 
men. " Righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, 
and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.* — He hath done 
no violence, neither was there any deceit in his lips.* 
The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of 
wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and 
might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.^ 
The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, 
that I should know how to speak a word in season to 
him that is weary."* He shall feed his flock like a shep- 
herd ; he shall gather the lambs w4th his arm, and carry 
them in his bosom.* A bruised reed shall he not break, 
and the smoking flax shall he not quench.^ Behold, thy 
king cometh unto thee ; he is just, and having salvation ; 
lowly, and riding upon an ass.''' He shall not cry, nor 
lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.* 
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he opened not his 
mouth ; he was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and 
as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not 
his moutih.^ I gave my back to the smiters, and my 
cheeks to them that plucked off the hair ; I hid not my 
face from shame and spitting. *° The Lord God hath 
opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned 
away back. The Lord God will help me, therefore shall I 
not be confounded ; therefore have I set my face like a flint, 
and I know that I shall not be ashamed."^* How many 

' Isa. XI. 5. 

2 Isa. liii. 9. 

3 Isa. xi. 2. 

* Isa. 1. 4. 

5 Isa. xl. 2. 

6 Isa. xlii. 3. 

' Zech. ix. 9. 

8 Isa. xlii. 2. 

9 Isa. liii. 7. 

'<^ Isa. 1. 6. 

>' Isa. i. 5, 7. 


virtues are thus represented in the prophecies, as character- 
istic of the Messiah ; and how apphcable are- they all to 
Christ alone, and how clearly imbodied in his character ! 
His wisdom and knowledge — his speaking as never man 
spake — the general meekness of his manner and mildness 
of his conversation — his perfect candour and unsullied 
purity — his righteousness — his kindness and compassion 
— his genuine humility — his peaceable disposition — his 
unrepining patience — his invincible courage — his more 
than heroic resolution, and more than human forbearance 
— his unfaltering trust in God, and complete resignation 
to his will, are all portrayed in the liveliest, the most 
affecting, and expressive terms ; and among all who 
ever breathed the breath of life, they can be applied to 
Christ alone. ^ 

Mahomet pretended to receive a divine warrant to 
sanction his past impurities, and to license his future 
crimes. How different is the appeal of Jesus to earth 
and to heaven : " If I do not the works of my Father, 
believe me not. — Search the Scriptures, for these are 
they which testify of me." They did testify of the 
coming of a Messiah, and of the superhuman excellence 
of his moral character. And if the life of Jesus was 
wonderful and unparalleled of itself, how miraculous 
does it appear, when all his actions develope the prophetic 
character of the promised Saviour ! The internal evi 
dences are here combined at once ; and while the life 
of Christ proved that he was a righteous person, it proved 
also, as testified of by the prophets, that he was the Son 
of God. 

In describing the blessings of the reign of the Messiah, 
the prophet Isaiah foretold the greatness and the benignity 
of his miracles : — '^ The eyes of the blind shall be opened, 
and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped : then shall 
the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the 
dumb sing. "2 The history of Jesus shows how such 
acts of mercy formed the frequent exercise of his power * 

' See Barrow on the Creed, p. 19. 
2 Isa. XXXV. 5, 6. 


at his word the blind received their sight, the lame 
walked, the deaf heard, and the dumb spake.* 

The death of Christ was as unparalleled as his lifiB: 
and the prophecies are as minutely descriptive of his 
sufferings as of his virtues. Not only did the paschal 
lamb, which was to be killed every year in all the families 
of Israel — which was to be taken out of the flock, to be 
without blemish— to be eaten witii bitter herbs — to have 
its blood sprinkled, and to be kept whole that not a bone 
of it should be broken ; not only did the offering up of 
Isaac, and the lifting up of the brazen serpent in the 
wilderness, by lookmg upon which the people were 
healed, — and many ritual observances of the Jews, — 
prefigure the manner of Christ's death, and the sacrifice 
which was to be made for sin ; but many express decla- 
rations abound in the prophecies, that Christ was indeed 
to suffer. Exclusive of the repeated declarations in the 
Psalms,^ of afflictions which apply literally to him, and 
are interwoven with allusions to the Messiah's kingdom, 
the prophet Daniel,^ in limiting the time of his coming, 
directly affirms that the Messiah was to be cut off"; and 
in the same manifest allusion, Zechariah uses these em- 
phatic words : " Awake, O sword, against my Shepherd, 
and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of 
Hosts: smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be 
scattered. I will pour upon the house of David, and 
upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace 
and of supplication : and they shall look upon me whom 
they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him."* 

But Isaiah, who describes with eloquence worthy of a 
prophet, the glories of the kingdom that was to come, 
characterizes, with the accuracy of an historian, the 
humiliation, the trials, and the agonies which were to 
precede the triumphs of the Redeemer of a world ; and 
the history of Christ foons, to the very letter, the com- 

' Matt ix. 33, xi. 5. 

2 Ps. ii., xxii. 1, 6, 7, 16, 18, xxxv. 7, 11, 12, Ixix. 20, 21, cix. 2. 
3, 5, 25, cxviii. 12. 

3 Dan. ix. 26. < Zech. xiii. 7, xii. 10. 


mentary and the completion of his every prediction. In 
a single passage,' — the connection of which is uninter- 
rupted, its antiquity indisputable, and its application 
obvious, — the sufferings of the servant of God, (who, 
under the same denomination, is previously described as 
he who was to be the light of the Gentiles, the salvation 
of God to the ends of the earth, and the elect of God, in 
whom his soul delighted,^) are so minutely foretold, that 
no illustration is requisite to show that they testify of 
Jesus. Of the multitude of parallel passages in the New 
Testament, a few of the most obvious may be here sub- 
joined to the prophecy. 

He is despised and rejected of men. *' He came unto 
his own, and his own received him not ; he had not 
where to lay his head ; they derided him." Ji man of 
sorrows, and acquainted with grief. Jesus wept at the 
grave of Lazarus ; he mourned over Jerusalem ; he felt 
the ingratitude and the cruelty of men ; he bore the con- 
tradiction of sinners against himself: and these are ex- 
pressions of sorrow which were peculiarly his own, 
" Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me ; but 
for this end came I into the world. My God ! my God ! 
why hast thou forsaken me ?" We hid, as it were, our 
faces from him, he was despised, and we esteemed him 
not. " All his disciples forsook him and fled. Not this 
man, but Barabbas : now Barabbas was a robber. The 
soldiers mocked him, and bowed the knee before him in 
derision." The catalogue of his sufferings is continued 
in the words of the prophecy: We did esteem him 
stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. He was wounded, 
he was oppressed, he was afflicted, he was brought as a 
lamb to the slaughter. He was taken away by distress 
and by judgment. And to this general description is 
united the detail of minuter incidents, which fixes the 
fact of their application to Jesus. He was cut off out of 
the land of the living. He was crucified in the flower 
of his age. He made his grave (or his grave was ap- 

' Isa. lii. 13 — 15, and chap. iii. 
2 Isa. xlii. 1, xlix. 6. 



pointed) with the wicked; and with the rich in his death. 
His grave was doubtless appointed with the wicked, or 
the two thieves with whom he was crucified, but Joseph 
of Arimathea, a rich man, went and begged the body 
of Jesus, and laid it in his own new tomb. He was 
numbered among the transgressors. Barabbas was pre- 
ferred before him. He was crucified between two 
thieves ; and the Jews said unto Pilate, "If he were 
not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up 
unto thee.'' His visage wa^ so marred, more than any 
man, and his form more than the sons of men. Without 
any direct allusion made to it, but in literal fulfilment of 
the prophecy — the bloody sweat, the traces of the crown 
of thorns, his having been spitted on, and smitten on 
the head, disfigured his face ; — while the scourge, the 
nails in his hands and in his feet, and the spear that 
pierced his side, marred the form of Jesus more than 
that of the sons of men. 

That this circumstantial and continuous description 
of the Messiah's sufferings might not admit of any ambi- 
guity, the dignity of his person, the incredulity of the 
Jews, the innocence of the sufferer, the cause of his 
sufferings, and his consequent exaltation, are all parti- 
cularly marked, and are equally applicable to the doc- 
trine of the gospel. He shall be exalted and extolled, 
and be very high. Who hath believed our report ? and to 
whom is the arm of the Lord revealed ? For he shall grow 
up as a tender plant, &c. The mean external condition 
of Christ is here assigned as the reason of the unbelief 
of the Jews, and it was the very reason which they 
themselves assigned. The prediction points out the 
procuring cause of his sufferings. He hath borne our 
griefs, and carried our sorrows. " Christ was once 
offered to bear the sins of many." He was wounded for 
our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the 
chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his 
stripes we are healed. " His own self Taare our sins in 
his own body on the tree, that we, being dead unto sin, 
should live unto righteousness ; by whose stripes we are 


healed." All we, like sheep, have gone astray ; we have 
turned every one to his own icay ; and the Lord hath laid 
on him the iniquity of us all. " All flesh have sinned, 
ye were as sheep going astray, but ye are now returned 
unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls." He hath 
done no violence ; neither was tJiere any deceit in his 
mouth : Thou shall make his soul an offering for sin, 
" God made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin." 

The whole of this prophecy thus refers to the Messiah 
It describes both his debasement and his dignity — his 
rejection by the Jew^s — his humihty, his affliction, and 
his agony — his magnanimity and his charity — how his 
words were disbelieved — how his state was lowly — 
how his sorrow was severe — how he t>pened not his 
mouth but to make intercession for the transgressors. In 
diametrical opposition to every dispensation of Provi- 
dence which is registered in the records of the Jews, it 
represents spotless innocence suffering by the appoint- 
ment of Heaven, death as the issue of perfect obedience, 
his righteous servant as forsaken of God, and one who 
was perfectly immaculate, bearing the chastisement of 
many guilty, — sprinkling many nations from their ini- 
quity, by virtue of his sacrifice, — ^justifying many by his 
knowledge, and dividing a portion with the great, and 
the spoil with the strong, because he hath poured out 
his soul in death. This prophecy, therefore, simply as a 
prediction prior to the event, renders the very unbelief 
of the Jews an evidence against them, converts the 
scandal of the cross into an argument in favour of 
Christianity, and presents us with an epitome of the 
truth, a miniature of the gospel in some of its most 
striking features. The simple exposition of it sufficed 
at once for the conversion of the eunuch of Ethiopia ; 
and, without the aid of an apostle, it can boast in more 
modem times of a nobler trophy of its truth, in a vic- 
tory which it was mainly instrumental in obtaining and 
securing, over the strongly-riveted prejudices and long- 
tried infidelity of a man of genius and of rank, who was 
one of the most abandoned, insidious, and successful of 


the advocates of impurity, and of the enemies of the 
Christian faith.* 

Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suf- 
fer, according to the Scriptures ; and thus the apostle 
testifies : " Those things which God had showed by the 
mouth of all the prophets, that Christ should suffer, he 
hath so fulfilled." 

That the Jews still retain these prophecies, and are 
the means of preserving them, and communicating them 
throughout the world, while they bear so strongly 
against themselves, and testify so clearly of a Saviour 
that was first to suffer, and then to be exalted, — are facts 
as indubitable as they are unaccountable, and give a 
confirmation to .the truth of Christianity, than which it 
is difficult to conceive any stronger. The prophecies, 
as we have seen by a simple enumeration of a few of 
them that testify of the sufferings of the Messiah, need 
no forced interpretation, but apply in the plainest, sim- 
plest, and most literal manner, to the history of the suf- 
ferings and of the death of Christ. In the testimony of 
the Jews to the existence of these prophecies long prior 
to the Christian era ; in their remaining unaltered to this 
hour ; in the accounts given by the evemgelists, of the 
life and death of Christ ; in the testimony of heathen 
authors^ which has been frequently quoted, but never 
refuted ; and in the arguments of the first opposers of 
Christianity, from the mean condition of its author, and 
the manner of his death ; we have now greater evidence 
of the fulfilment of all these prophecies, than could have 
been conceived possible at so great a distance of time. 

But the prophecies farther present us with the cha- 
racter of the gospel as well as of its author, and with a 
description of the extent of his kingdom as well as of 
his sufferings. It was prophesied that the Messiah "was 
to reveal the will of God to man, and establish a new 

' Burnet's Life of the Earl of Rochester, pp. 70, 71. 
. 2 «< Auctor nominis ejus Christus, Tiberio imperitante, per 
prccuratorem Pentium Pilatum supplicio adfectus erat." — (Tacit. 
Annal. lib. xv. cap. xliv.) 


and perfect religion : — " I will raise them up a prophet, 
— and will put my words in his mouth, and he shall 
speak unto them all that I shall command him ; and it 
shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto 
my words which he shall speak in my name, I will re- 
quire it of him. Unto us a child is born, unto us a son 
is given ; and the government shall be upon his shoulder ; 
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the 
Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of 
Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace 
there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and 
upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with 
judgment and with justice from henceforth, even for- 
ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. 
There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse ; — 
he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither 
reprove after the hearing of his ears ; but with righteous- 
ness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity. I 
the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will 
hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a 
covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles, to 
open the blind eyes. Incline your ear and come unto 
me ; hear, and your soul shall live ; and I will make an 
everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of 
David. Behold, I have given him for a witness to the 
people, a leader and commander to the people. I will 
set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them ; 
and I w411 make with them a covenant of peace, and it 
shall be an everlasting covenant ; and I will set my 
sanctuary in the midst of them : one king shall be king 
to them all ; neither shall they defile themselves any 
more with their idols. They shall have one shepherd. 
They shall also walk in my judgments, and my servant 
David shall be their prince forever. Behold, the days 
come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant ; 
— and this shall be the covenant that I will make with 
the house of Israel ; After these days, I will put my law 
in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts ; and 
will be their God, and they shall be my people : and 


they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and 
every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord ; for they 
shall all know me, from the least of them unto the 
^eatest of them, saith the Lord ; for I will forgive their 
iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."* A 
future and perfect revelation of the divine will is thus 
explicitly foretold. That these promised blessings were 
to extend beyond the confines of Judea, is expressly 
and frequently predicted : — " It fs a Hght thing that thou 
shouldst be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, 
and to restore the preserved of Israel ; I will also give 
thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my 
salvation unto the end of the earth. ^ 

While many of the prophecies which are descriptive 
of the glories of the reign of the Messiah, refer to its 
universal extension, and to the final restoration of the 
Jews, they detail and define, at the same time, the na- 
ture and the blessings of the gospel ; and no better 
description or definition could now be given of the doc- 
trine of Christ, and of the conditions which he hath 
proposed for the acceptance of man, than those very 
prophecies which were delivered many hundreds of 
years before he appeared in the world. The gospel, as 
the name itself signifies, denotes glad tidings. Christ 
himself invited those who were weary and heavy laden 
to come unto him, that they might find rest unto their 
souls. He was the messenger of peace. He came, as 
he professed, to offer a sacrifice for the sins of the world, 
and to reveal the will of God to man. He published 
the gospel of the grace of God. His word is still that 
of reconciliation, his law that of love ; and all the duty 
he has prescribed tends to qualify man for spiritual and 
eternal felicity, for this is the sum and the object of it 
all. What more could have been given, and what less 
could have been required ? In similar terms do the 
prophecies of old describe the new law that was to be 

1 Deut. xviii. 18, 19; Isa. iy. 6, 7, xi. 1, 3, 4, xlii. 6, Iv. 3,4; 
Ezek. xxxiv. 23, 25, xxxviL 22—26; Jer. xxxi.31, 33, 34. 
" Isa. xlix. 6, Ivi. 6—8. 


revealed, and the advent of the Saviour that was to 
come : — " Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion : shout, 
O daughter of Jerusalem ; behold, thy king cometh unto 
thee. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet 
of him that bringeth good tidings of good, that publish- 
eth salvation/ The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, 
because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good 
tidings unto the meek : he hath sent me to bind up the 
broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, to 
proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."^ Having 
read these words out of the law, in the synagogue, Jesus 
said, " This day is this Scripture fulfilled." He was a 
teacher of righteousness and of peace, and in him alone 
it could have been fulfilled. The same character of 
joy, indicative of the kingdom of the Messiah, is also 
given by different prophets. He was to finish transgres- 
sion, to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation 
fof iniquity ; to sprinkle clean water upon the people of 
God, to sprinkle many nations, to save them from their 
uncleanness, and to open a fountain for sin and for un- 
cleanness. " Let the wicked forsake his ways, and the 
unrighteous man his thoughts ; and let him return unto 
the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him. I will 
forgive their iniquity, and remember their sins no more. 
The Messiah was to be anointed to comfort all that 
mourn, to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give 
unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, 
and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.^ 
And in the gospel of peace these promised blessings are 
realized. We now see what many prophets and wise 
men did desire in vain to see. The Christian religion 
has indeed been sadly perverted and corrupted, and its 
corruptions are the subjects of prophecy. Bigotry has 
often tarnished and obscured all its benignity. Its lovely 
form has been shrouded in a mask of superstition, of 
tyranny, and of murder. But the religion of Jesus, pure 
from the lips of its author and the pen of his aposdes, is 

' Isa. Hi. 7. 2 isa.lxi. 1. 

3 Dan. ix. 24 ; Isa. Iv. 7 ; Jer. xxxi. 34 ; Isa. Ixi. 1— .3. 


calculated to diffuse universal happiness; tends effect- 
ually to promote the moral culture and the civilization 
of humanity ; ameliorates the condition and perfects the 
nature of man. It is a doctrine of righteousness, a per- 
fect rule of duty : it abolishes idolatry, and teaches all 
to worship God only : it is full of promises to all who 
obey it : it reveals the method of reconciliation for ini- 
quity, and imparts the means lo obtain it : it is good 
tidings to the meek : it binds up the broken-hearted, 
and presents to us the oil of joy for mourning, and the 
garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, or the most 
perfect system of consolation, under all the evils of life, 
that can be conceived by man. For the confirmation of 
all these prophecies concerning it, we stand not in need 
of Jewish testimony, or that of the primitive Christians, 
or of any testimony whatever. It is a matter of expe- 
rience and of fact. The doctrine of the gospel is in 
complete accordance with the predictions respecting it. 
When we compare it with any impure, degrading, vi- 
cious, and cruel system of religion that existed in the 
world when these prophecies were delivered, its supe- 
riority must be apparent, and its unrivalled excellence 
must be acknowledged. Deities were then worshipped 
whose vices disgraced human nature ; and even impiety 
could not institute a comparison between them and the 
God of Christians. Idolatry was universally prevalent, 
and men knew not a higher honour than the humiliation 
of bowing down in adoration to stocks and stones, and 
sometimes even to the beasts. Sacrifices were every- 
where offered up, and human victims often bled, when 
the doctrine of reconciliation for iniquity was unknown. 
And we have only to look beyond the boundaries of 
Christianity, — to Ashantee, or to India, or to China, — 
to behold the most revolting of spectacles in the religious 
rites and practices of man. Regarding the superiority 
of the Christian religion only as a subject of prophecy, 
the assent can hardly be withheld, that the prophecies 
concerning its excellence, and the blessings which it im- 


parts, have been amply verified by the peace-speaking 
gospel of Jesus. 

But, in ascertaining the accomplishment of ancient 
predictions, in evidence of the truth, the unbeliever is 
not solicited to relinquish one iota of his skepticism in 
any matter that can possibly admit of a reasonable doubt. 
For there are many prophecies, of the truth of which 
every Christian is a witness, and to the fulfilment of 
which the testimony even of infidels must be borne. 
-That the gospel emanated from Jerusalem ; that it was 
rejected by a great proportion of the Jews ; that it was 
opposed at first by human power ; that idolatry has been 
overthrown before it ; that kings have become subject 
to it and supported it ; that it has already continued for 
many ages, and that it has been propagated throughout 
many countries, are facts clearly foretold and literally 
fulfilled. " Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the 
word of the Lord from Jerusalem ; and he shall judge 
among the nations.* He shall be for a sanctuary ; but 
for a stone of stumbling, and for a rock of oflfence, to 
both the houses of Israel ; for a gin and a snare to the 
inhabitants of Jerusalem. The kings of the earth set 
themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against 
the Lord, and against his Anointed. "^ In like manner, 
Christ frequently foretold the persecution that awaited 
his followers, and the final success of the gospel, in 
defiance of all opposition.^ " The Lord alone shall be 
exalted in that day, and the idols he shall utterly abolish ; 
— from all your idols will I cleanse you ; — I will cut off 
the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no 
more be remembered.'* To a servant of rulers, kings 
shall see and arise, princes also shall worship. The 
gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the bright- 
ness of thy rising. Kings shall be thy nursing fathers, 
and their queens thy nursing mothers.^ The gentiles 

' Isa. ii. 3, 4 ; Micah iv. 2. 2 jga. viii. 14 ; Ps. ii. 2. 

3 Matt. X. 17, xvi. 18, xxiv. 14, xxviii. 19. 

•* Isa. ii. 17, 18 ; Ezek. xxxvi. 25 ; Zech. xiii. 2. 

* Isa. xlix. 7, 23, Ix. 3. 



shall see thy righteousness : — a people that knew me not 
shall be called after my name. In that day there 
shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign 
of tlie people ; to it shall the gentiles seek. I will make 
an everlasting covenant with you. Behold, thou shalt 
call a nation that thou knowest not ; and nations that 
knew not thee shall run unto thee."^ 

At die time the prophecies were delivered, there was 
not a vestige in the world of that spiritual kingdom and 
pure religion which they unequivocally represent as 
extending in succeeding ages, not only throughout the 
narrow bounds of the land of Judea, and those countries 
which alone the prophets knew, but over the gentile 
nations also, even to the uttermost ends of the earth. 
None are now ignorant of the facts, that a system of 
religion which inculcates piety, and purity, and love, — 
which releases man from every burdensome rite and 
every barbarous institution, and proffers the greatest of 
blessings, — arose from the land of Judea, from among 
a people who are proverbially the most selfish and 
worldly minded of any nation upon earth ; — that, 
though persecuted at first, and rejected by the Jews, it 
has spread throughout many nations, and extended to 
those who were far distant from the scene of its origin ; 
and that it freely invites all to partake of its privileges, 
and makes no distinction between barbarian, Scythian, 
bond or free. A Latin poet, who lived at the com- 
mencement of the Christian era, speaks of the barbarous 
Britons as almost divided from the whole world ; and 
yet, although far more distant from the land of Judea than 
from Rome, the law which hath come out from Jerusa- 
lem hath taken, by its influence, the name of barbarous 
from Britain : and in "our distant isle of the gentiles" 
are the prophecies fulfilled, that the kingdom of the 
Messiah, or knowledge of the gospel, would extend to 
^he uttermost part of the earth. And in the present day, 
we can look from one distant isle of the gentiles to 
another, — from the northern to the southern ocean, or 
' Isa. Ixii. 2, xi. 10, Iv. 3, 5. 


from one extremity of the globe to another, — and behold 
the extinction of idolatry, and the abolition of every 
barbarous and cruel rite, by the humanizing influence of 
the gospel. But it was at a time when no dir-ne light 
dawned upon the world, save obscurely on the land of 
Judea alone ; when all the surrounding nations, in re- 
spect to religious knowledge, were involved in thick 
darkness, gross superstition, and blind idolatry; when 
men made unto themselves gods of corruptible things ; 
when those mortals were deified, after their death, who 
had been subject to the greatest vices, and who had 
been the oppressors of their fellow-men ; when the most 
shocking rites were practised as acts of religion ; when 
the most enlightened among the nations of the earth 
erected an altar to the " unknown God," and set no 
limit to the number of their deities ; when one of the 
greatest of the heathen philosophers, and the best of their 
moralists, despairing of the clear discovery of the truth 
by human means, could merely express a wish for a 
divine revelation, as the only safe and certain guide ;* 
when slaves were far more numerous than freemen, even 
where liberty prevailed the most ; and when there was 
no earthly hope of redemption from temporal bondage or 
spiritual slavery ; — even at such a time the voice of 
prophecy was uphfted in the land of Judea, and it spoke 
of a brighter day that was to dawn upon the world. It 
was indeed a light shining in a dark place. And from 
whence could that hght have emanated but from heaven? 
A Messiah was promised, a Prince of peace was to ap- 
pear, a stone was to be cut without hands, that should 
break in pieces and consume all other kingdoms. And 
the spiritual reign of a Saviour is foretold in terms that 
define its duration and extent, as well as describe its 
nature : — " I shall see him, but not now ; I shall behold 
him, but not nigh. — His name shall endure forever ; his 
name shall be continued as long as the sun ; and men 
shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him 
blessed. He shall have dominion from sea to sea ; and 
' Plato in Phaedone et in Alcibiade ii. 


from the river unto the ends of the earth. Ask of me, 
and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, 
and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. 
All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto 
the Lord ; and all the kindreds of the nations shall wor 
ship before thee.* I will give thee for a light to the 
gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end 
of the earth. The glory of thfe Lord shall be revealed ; 
and all flesh shall see it together ; for the mouth of the 
Lord hath spoken it.^ The Lord hath made bare his 
holy arm in the eyes of all the nations. He shall not 
fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the 
earth ; and the isles shall wait for his law.*"* He will 
destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over 
all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations."* 
I am sought of them that asked not for me ; I am found 
of them that sought me not ; I said, Behold me, behold 
me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.* 
'^ It shall come to pass, in the last days," say both 
Isaiah and Micah in the same words, " that the moun- 
tain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top 
of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, 
and all nations shall flow unto it.^ In the place where 
it was said unto them. Ye are not my people, there it 
shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living 
God.^ The abundance of the sea shall be converted 
unto thee ; the forces of the gentiles shall come unto 
thee.^ Sing, barren, thou that didst not bear ; break 
forth into singing, and cry aloud : for more are the 
children of the desolate than the children of the married 
wife (more gentiles than Jews.) Enlarge the place of 
thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine 
habitations : spare not, lengthen thy cords ; for thou 
shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left, and 
thy seed shall inherit the gentiles: for thy Maker is 

' Num. xxiv. 17 ; Ps. Ixxii. 17, 8, ii. 8, xxii. 27. 

2 Isa. xlix. 6, xl. 5. 3 Isa. lii. 10, xlii. 4. * Isa. xxv. 7. 

^ Isa. Ixv. 1. 6 Isa. ii. 2 ; Micah iv. 1. 

' Hosea i. 10. a isa. ix. 5. 


thine husband : the Lord of hosts is his name ; the God 
of the whole earth shall he be called.* The wilderness 
and the solitary place shall be glad ; and the desert shall 
rejoice, and blossom as the rose.^ 

These prophecies all refer to the extent of the Mes- 
siah's kingdom ; and clear and copious though they be, 
they form but a small number of the predictions of the 
same auspicious import : — and we have not merely to 
consider what part of them may yet remain to be fulfilled, 
but how much has already been accomplished, of which 
no surmise could have been formed, and of which all 
the wisdom of short-sighted mortals could not have war- 
ranted a thought. All of them were delivered many 
ages before the existence of that religion whose progress 
they minutely describe ; and, when we compare the 
present state of any country where the gospel is pro- 
fessed in its purity, with its state at that period when 
the Sun of righteousness began to rise upon it, we see 
light pervading the regions of darkness, and ignorance 
and barbarism yielding to knowledge and moral culti- 
vation. In opposition to all human probability, and to 
human wisdom and power, the gospel of Jesus, propa- 
gated at first by a few fishermen of Galilee, has razed 
every heathen temple from its foundation, has over- 
thrown before it every impure altar, has displaced, from 
every palace and every cottage which it has reached, 
the worship of every false god ; the whole civilized 
world acknowledges its authority ; it has prevailed from 
the first to the last in defiance of persecution, of opposi- 
tion the most powerful and violent, of the direct attacks 
of avowed, and the insidious designs of disguised ene- 
mies ; — and combating, as it ever has been combating,, 
with all the evil passions of men that impel them to 
resist or pervert it, the lapse of eighteen centuries con- 
firms every ancient prediction, and verifies, to this hour, 
the declaration of its author, — " the gates of hell shal) 
not prevail against it." How is it possible that it could 
have been conceived that such a religion would hav* 
1 Isa. liv. 1—3, 5. 2 isa. xxxv. 1 


been characterized in all its parts — would have been 
instituted — opposed — established — propagated through- 
out tlie world — embraced by so many nations — pro- 
tected at last by princes and kings — and received as 
the rule of faith and the will of God ? How could all 
tliese things, and many more respecting it, have been 
foretold, as they unquestionably were, many centuries 
before the author of Christianity appeared, if these pro- 
phecies be not an attestation from on high that every 
prediction and its completion is the work of God and 
not of man ? What uninspired mortal could have de- 
scribed the nature, the effect, and the progress of the 
Christian religion, when none could have entertained an 
idea of its existence ? for paganism consisted in external 
rites and cruel sacrifices, and in pretended mysteries. 
Its toleration, indeed, has been commended, and not 
undeservedly ; for in reUgion it tolerated whatever was 
absurd and impious, in morals it tolerated all that was 
impure, and almost all that was vicious. But the Jewish 
prophets, when the world was in darkness, and could 
supply no light to lead them to such knowledge, pre- 
dicted the rise of a religion which could boast of no such 
toleration, but which was to reveal the will and incul- 
cate the worship of the one living and true God ; which 
was to consist in moral obedience, to enjoin reformation 
of life and purity of heart, to abolish all sacrifice by 
revealing a better means of reconciliation for iniquity, 
to be understood by all from the simplicity of its pre- 
cepts, and to tolerate no manner of evil ; a religion in 
every respect the reverse of paganism, and of which 
they could not have been furnished with any semblance 
upon earth. They saw nothing among the surrounding 
nations but the worship of a multiplicity of deities and 
of idols : if they had traversed the whole world, they 
would have witnessed only the same spiritual degrada- 
tion, and yet they predicted the final abolition and ex- 
tinction both of polytheism and of idolatry. The Jewish 
dispensation was local, and Jews prophesied of a reli- 
gion beginning fi-om Jerusalem, which was to extend to 


the uttermost parts of the earth. So utterly unUkely and 
incredible were the prophecies either to have been fore- 
told by human wisdom, or to have been fulfilled by 
human power ; and when both these wonders are united, 
they convey an assurance of the truth. As a matter of 
history, the progress of Christianity is at least astonish- 
ing ; as the fulfilment of many prophecies, it is evidently 

The prophesied success and extension of the gospel 
is not less obvious in the New Testament than in the 
Old. A single instance may suffice: — "I saw another 
angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting 
gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and 
to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people." 
These are the words of a banished man, secluded in a 
small island from which he could not remove ; a be 
liever in a new religion everywhere spoken against and 
persecuted. They were uttered at a time when their 
truth could not possibly have been realized to the de- 
gree which it actually is at present, even if all human 
power had been combined for extending, instead of 
extinguishing the gospel. The diffusion of knowledge 
was then extremely difficult ; the art of printing was 
then unknown ; and many countries which the gospel 
has now reached were then undiscovered. And, multi- 
plied as books now are, more than at any former period 
of the history of man, — extensive as the range of com- 
merce is, beyond what Tyre, or Carthage, or Rome 
could have ever boasted, — the dissemination of the 
Scriptures surpasses both the one and the other : they 

1 Were it even to be conceded, as it never will in reason be, 
that the causes assigned by Gibbon for the rapid extension of 
Christianity were adequate and true, one difficulty, great as it is, 
would only be removed for the substitution of a greater. For 
what human ingenuity, though gifted with the utmost reach of 
discrimination, can ever attempt the solution of the question, how 
were all these occult causes, (for hidden they must then have 
been,) which the genius of Gibbon first discovered, foreseen, their 
combination known, and all their wonderful effects distinctly de. 
scribed for many centuries prior to their existence, or to the com- 
mencement of the period of their alleged operation? 


have penetrated regions unknown to any work of human 
genius, and untouched even by the ardour of commer- 
cial speculation; and, with the prescription of more than 
seventeen centuries in its favour, the prophecy of the 
poor prisoner of Patmos is now exemplified, and thus 
proved to be more than a mortal vision, in the unexam- 
pled communication of the everlasting gospel unto them 
that dwell on the earth, to eVery nation, and kindred, 
and tongue, and people. Christianity is professed over 
Europe and America. Christians are settled throughout 
every part of the earth. The gospel is now translated 
into more than one hundred and fifty languages and dia- 
lects, which are prevalent in countries from the one ex- 
tremity of the world to the other : and what other book, 
since the creation, has ever been read or known in a 
tenth part of the number? Whatever may be the 
secondary causes by which these 'events have been ac- 
complished, or whatever may be the opinion of men 
respecting them, the predictions which they amply verify 
must have originated by inspiration from him who is 
the first Great Cause. What divine warrant, equal to 
this alone, can all the speculations of infidelity supply, 
or can any freethinker produce, for disbelieving the 
gospel ? 

It is apparent, on a general view of the prophecies 
which refer to Christ and to the Christian religion, that 
they include predictions relative to many of the doc- 
trines of the gospel which are subjects of pure revelation, 
or which reason of itself could never have discovered ; 
and these very doctrines, to which the self-sufficiency 
of human wisdom is often averse to yield assent, are 
thus to be numbered, in this respect, among the crite- 
rions of the truth of divine revelation ; for if these 
doctrines had not been contained in Scripture, the 
prophecies respecting them could not have been fulfilled. 
And the more w^onderful they appear, they were by so 
much the more unlikely or inconceivable to have been 
foretold by man, and to have been afterwards imbodied 
m a system of religion. 


It IS? also evident that there are many prophecies ap- 
plicable to Jesus, to which no allusion is made in the 
history of his life. The minds of his disciples were 
long impressed with the prejudices, arising from the 
lowliness of his mortal state, which were prevalent 
among the Jews ; and they viewed the prophecies 
through the mist of those traditions which had magnified 
the earthly power to which alone they looked, and ob- 
scured the divine nature of the expected reign of the 
Messiah. It was only after the resurrection of Christ, 
as the Scripture informs us, that their understandings 
were opened to know the prophecies. But while the 
accomplishment of many of these predictions is thus 
unnoticed in the New Testament, the fulfilment of each 
and all of them is written, as with a pen of iron, in the 
life and doctrine and death of Jesus ; — and the unde- 
signed and unsuspicious proof, thus indirectly but amply 
given, is now stronger than if an appeal had been made 
to the prophecies in every instance; — and, freed from 
the prejudices of the Jews, we may now combine and 
compare all the antecedent prophecies respecting the 
Messiah with the narrative of the New Testament, and 
with the nature and history of Christianity ; and having 
seen how the former is a transcript of the latter, we may 
draw the legitimate conclusion, that the spirit of pro- 
phecy is indeed the testimony of Jesus. 

And may it not, on a review of the whole, be war- 
rantably asserted, that the time and place of the birth 
of Christ, the tribe and the family from which he was 
descended, the manner of his life, his character, his 
miracles, his sufferings and his death ; the nature of his 
doctrine, and the fate of his religion ; that it was to 
proceed from Jerusalem, that the Jews would reject it, 
that it would be opposed and persecuted at first, that it 
would be extended to the gentiles, that idolatry would 
give way before it, that kings would sulDmit to its author- 
ity, and that it would be spread throughout many 
nations, even to the most distant parts of the earth,— 
were all of them subjects of ancient prophecy .? 


Why, then, were so many prophecies dehvered? 
Why, from the calling of Abraham to the present time, 
have the Jews been separated, as a peculiar people, 
from all the nations of the earth ? Why, from the age 
of Moses to that of Malachi, during the space of one 
thousand years, did a succession of prophets arise, all 
testifying of a Saviour that was to come ? Why was 
the book of prophecy sealed' for nearly four hundred 
years before the coming of Christ ? Why is there still, 
to this day, undisputed if not miraculous evidence of 
the antiquity of all these prophecies, by their being 
sacredly preserved in every age, in the custody and 
guardianship of the enemies of Christianity? Why 
was such a multiplicity of facts predicted that are appU- 
cable to Christ and to him alone ? Why, but that all 
this mighty preparation might usher in the gospel of 
righteousness ; and that, like all the works of the Al- 
mighty, his word through Jesus Christ might never 
be left without a witness of his wisdom and his 
power? And if the prophecies which testify of the 
gospel and its Author display, from the slight glance 
which has here been given of them, any traces of the 
finger of God, how strong must be the conviction which 
a full view of them imparts to the minds of those who 
diligently search the Scriptures, and see how clearly 
they testify of Christ ! 




The commonwealth of Israel, from its establishment 
to its dissolution, subsisted for more than fifteen hundred 
years. In delivering their law, Moses assumed more than 
the authority of a human legislator, and asserted that 
he was invested with a divine commission ; and in en- 
joining obedience to it, after having conducted them to 
the borders of Canaan, he promises many blessings to 
accompany their compliance with the law, and de- 
nounces grievous judgments that would overtake them 
for the breach of it. The history of the Jews in each suc- 
ceeding age, attests the truth of the last prophetic warning 
of the first of their rulers ; but too lengthened a detail 
would be requisite for its elucidation. Happily, it con- 
tains predictions, applicable to more recent events, which 
admit not of any ambiguous interpretation, and refer to 
historical facts that admit no cavil. He who founded 
their government, foretold, notwithstanding the interven- 
tion of so many ages, the manner of its overthrow. 
While they were wandering in the wilderness, without a 
city and without a home, he threatened them with 
the destruction of their cities, and the devastation of 
their country. While they viewed, for the first time, 
the land of Palestine, and when, victorious and tri- 
umphant, they were about to possess it, he represented 
the scene of desolation that it would exhibit to their 
vanquished and enslaved posterity, on their last departure 
from it. Ere they themselves had entered it as enemies, 
he describes those enemies by whom their descendants 
were to be subjugated and dispossessed, though they 
were to arise from a very distant region, and although 
they did not appear till after a millenary and a half of 


years : " The Lord shall bring a nation against thee 
from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the 
eagle flieth ; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not un- 
derstand ; a nation of fierce countenance, which shall 
not regard the person of the old, nor show favour to the 
young. And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the 
fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed : which also 
shall not leave thee either c6rn, wine, or oil, or the 
increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he 
have destroyed thee ; and he shall besiege thee in all 
thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, 
wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land."^ Each 
particular of this prophecy, though it be only intro- 
ductory to others, has met its full completion. The 
remote situation of the Romans, the rapidity of their 
march, the very emblem of their arms, their unknown 
Icmguage and warlike appearance, the indiscriminate 
cruelty and unsparing pillage which they exercised 
towards the persons and the property of the Jews, could 
scarcely have been represented in more descriptive 
terms.* Vespasian, Adrian, and Julius Severus re- 
moved with part of their armies from Britain to Palestine, 
the extreme points of the Roman world. The eagle 
was the standard of their armies, and the utmost activity 
and expedition were displayed in the reduction of Judea. 
They were a nation of fierce countenance, a race dis- 
tinct from the effeminate Asiatic troops. At Gadara and 
Gamala, throughout many parts of the Roman empire, 
and, in repeated instances, at Jerusalem itself, the 
slaughter of the Jews was indiscriminate, without dis- 
tinction of age or sex. The inhabitants were enslaved 
and banished, all their possessions confiscated, and the 
kingdom of Israel, humbled at first into a province of 
the Roman empire, became at last the private property 
of the emperor. Throughout all the land of Judea every 
city was besieged and taken ; and their high and fenced 
walls were razed from the foundation. But the prophet 

' Deut. xxvii. 49 — 52. 

2 See Jackson, Poole, Patrick, Whiston, Bishop Newton, &,c. 


particularizes incidents the most shocking to humanity, 
which mark the utmost possible extremity of want and 
wretchedness ; the last act to which famine could prompt 
despair, and the last subject of a prediction that could 
have been uttered by man : " And thou shalt eat the 
fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of 
thy daughters, — in the siege and in the straitness where- 
with thine enemies shall distress thee ; so that the man 
that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eyes 
shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife 
of his bosom, and tow^ard the remnant of his children 
which he shall leave ; so that he will not give to any 
of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat, 
because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in 
the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress 
thee in all thy gates. The tender and delicate woman 
among you, which would not adventure to set the sole 
of her foot upon the ground for delicateriess and ten- 
derness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her 
bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, 
and toward her young one, and toward her children 
which she shall bear : for she shall eat them for want 
of all things secretly in the siege and straitness where- 
with thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates. "^ No 
commentator, nor careful readev of Scripture and of 
Jewish history, could fail to observe the repeated in- 
stances of the fulfilment of this striking and awful pre- 
diction. When Samaria, then the capital of Israel, was 
besieged by all the hosts of the king of Syria, an ass's 
head was sold for eighty pieces of silver.^ When Ne- 
buchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem, the famine prevailed 
in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the 
land. And Josephus, in his history of the Jewish war, 
relates the direful calamities of the Jews in their last 
siege, before they ceased to have a city. The famine 
was too powerful for all other passions, for what was 
otherwise reverenced was in this case despised. Child- 
ren snatched the food out of the very mouths of their 
' Deut. xxviii. 53—57. 2 2 Kings vi. 35. 



fathers; and even mothers, overcoming the tenderest 
feelings of nature, took from their perishing infants the 
last morsels that could sustain their lives. — In every 
house where there was the least shadow of food, a con- 
test arose ; and the nearest relatives struggled with each 
other for the miserable means of subsistence.* He adds 
a most revolting detail.* While, in all these cases, the 
eve of man was thus evil towards his brother, in the 
siege and in the straitness wherewith their enemies dis- 
tressed them ; the unparalleled inhuman compact be- 
tween the two women of Samaria ; the bitter lamentation 
of Jeremiah over the miseries of the siege which he 
witnessed, " The hands of the pitiful women have sod- 
den their own children, they were their meat in the 
destruction of the daughter of my people ;" and the 
harrowing recital, by Josephus, of the noble lady killing, 
with her own hands, and eating secretly, her own suck- 
ling, (the discovery of which struck even the whole 
suffering city with horror,) which are all recorded as 
facts, without the least allusion to the prediction, — too 
faithfully realize, to the very letter, the dread denuncia- 
tions of the prophet. When any well-authenticated 
facts, of so singular and appalling a nature, were pre- 
dicted for ages, they could not possibly have been 
revealed but by inspiration from that Omniscience which 
alone can foresee the termination of the iniquities of 

Moses, and the other prophets, foretold also that the 
Jews would be left few in number, that they would be 
slain before their enemies, that the pride of their power 
would be broken, that their cities would be laid waste, 
that they would be destroyed and brought to naught, 
plucked from off the land, sold for slaves, and that none 
would buy them ; that their high places were to be 
desolate, and their bones to be scattered around their 
altars ; that Jerusalem was to be encamped round about, 

' Joseph. Hist. lib. v. c. x. § 3. — lib. vi. c. iii. § 3. Quoted by 
Eusebius, a. n. 315. — Ecc. Hist. lib. iii. c. vi. p. 95, 97. Patrick, &c. 
2 Joseph, ibid, vi c. iii. § 4. 


to be besieged with a mount, to have forts raised against 
it, to be ploughed over as a field, and to become heaps ; 
that the end was to come upon it ; and that the Lord 
would judge them according to their ways, and recom- 
pense them for all their abominations ; the sword with- 
out, and the pestilence and the famine within : "he that 
is in the field shall die with the sword ; and he that is 
in the city, famine and pestilence shall devour him."* 

These predictions, which are recorded in the Penta- 
teuch, and in the subsequent prophecies, accord with 
the minute prophetic narrative which Jesus gave of the 
siege and destruction of Jerusalem. Any adequate de- 
lineation of it alone would far surpass the limits of this 
treatise. But the subject has been fully and frequently 
illustrated, and the prediction harmonizes so completely 
with the unimpeachable testimony of impartial historians, 
that it is merely necessary, for the elucidation of its truth, 
to compare the prophetic description with the historical 

' Lev. xxvi. 30, &c. ; Deut. xxviii. 62, &c. ; Isa. xxiv. 3 ; Ezek. 
vi. 5 ; Micah iii. 12 ; Jer. xxvi. 18 ; Ezek. vii. 7 — 9, 15. 

2 " The particular parts of the whole discourse have been ad- 
mirably illustrated by many learned commentators. Christian 
writers have always, with great reason, represented Josephus's 
History of the Jewish War as the best commentary on this chap- 
ter, (Matt. xxiv. ;) and many have justly remarked it, as a won- 
derful instance of the care of Providence for the Christian church, 
that he, an eyewitness, and in these things of so great credit, 
should (especially in such an extraordinary manner) be pre- 
served, to transmit to us a collection of important facts, which so 
exactly illustrate this noble prophecy in almost every circum- 
stance." — Doddridge's Family Expositor, vol. ii. p. 373 ; second 
edition, 1745. No author, perhaps, has been more frequently 
quoted on any subject than Josephus on this ; his History of the 
Wars of the Romans with the Jews having been for many ages 
the common property of the Christian church, in illustration of 
the prophecies concerning the destruction of Jerusalem. These 
prophecies were quoted and illustrated by Eusebius above 1500 
years ago, lib. iv. c. v. — ix. p. 92 — 102, edit. Cantab. 1720. After 
giving a tragic summary, from the 5th and 6th books of Jose- 
phus's history of the miseries sustained from famine during the 
siege, he emphatically and justly states, that if any one compare 
the words of Christ with Josephus's narrative of the whole war 


Besides frequent allusions in his discourses and para- 
bles,* the predictions of Christ, concerning Jerusalem, 
are recorded at length by three of the evangelists. They 
are omitted by the apostle John, in whose writings alone, 
from the age to which he lived, their insertion could 
have been suspicious. They were delivered to the dis- 
ciples of Christ in answer to those direct questions which 
they put, in their surprise and 'alarm, at his declaration 
of the fate of the temple, " When shall these things be.^ 
What shall be the sign of them, and of the end of the 
world ?" The reply embraces all the subjects of the 
query, and is equally circumstantial and distinct. The 
death of Christ happened thirty-seven years previous to 
the destruction of Jerusalem. By the unanimous testi- 
mony of antiquity, the three gospels were published, and 
at least two of the evangelists were dead, several years 
before that event. Copies of the gospels were dissemi- 
nated so extensively and rapidly, that any deceit must 
have been instantaneously detected by the powerful, and 
numerous, and watchful enemies of the cross. And the 
evidence of the prior publicity of the gospels was so 
strong, that it remained unchallenged by Julian, by- 
Porphyry, or by Celsus. The authenticity of the pro- 
phecy thus rests on sure grounds, and the facts in which 
it received its accomplishment are incontestable. Jose- 
he cannot but admire the wonderful prescience and prophecy of 
Christ, and confess that they were truly divine and exceedingly 
wonderful. So fully and frequently has the subject been illustrated, 
as stated in every edition of this treatise, that any " studious Chris- 
tian," at all versed in the subject, could be at no loss to form, from 
the works of various writers in past ages, a volume of coincident 
illustrations of the same predictions from the same authorities. 
It may here suffice to mention the names of Eusebius, Grotius, 
Tillemont, Jackson, Poole, Patrick, Tillotson, Whitby, Abbadie, 
Whiston, Doddridge, Pearce, Bishop Newton, Lardner, &c., the 
last of whom, in a single treatise, has 250 references to Josephus 
alone. Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, and Eusebius, are quoted 
or referred to in a single paragraph by Doddridge, as well as by 
many preceding writers ; and in this brief and most imperfect 
summary, these authorities were consulted from the first. 

^ MalU xxi. 18, 19, 33—44, xxii. 1— 7,xxv. 14—30 ; Mark xi. 12 
—20, &c. ; Luke xiii. 6—9, xiv. 16—24, xx. 9—18, xxiii. 27—31. 


phus was one of the most distinguished generals in the 
commencement of the Jewish war ; he was an eye-wit- 
ness of the facts which he records ; he appeals to Ves- 
pasian and to Titus for the truth of his history ; it 
received the singular attestation of the subscription of 
the latter to its accuracy; it was published while the 
facts were recent and notorious ; and the extreme care- 
fulness with which he avoids the mention of the name 
of Christ, in the history of the Jewish war, is not less 
remarkable than the great precision with which he de- 
scribes the events that verify his predictions. Not a few 
of the transactions are also related by Tacitus, Suetonius, 
Philostratus, and Dion Cassius. 

The different prophecies of Christ respecting Jerusa- 
lem, may be condensed into a single view. 

" And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple ; 
and his disciples came to him, for to show him the 
buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, 
See ye not all these things ? verily I say unto you, there 
shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall 
not be thrown down. And as he sat upon the Mount 
of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, 
Tell us, when shall these things be ? and what shall be 
the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world ? 
And Jesus answered and said unto them. Take heed that 
no man deceive you ; for many shall come in my name, 
saying, I am Christ ; and shall deceive many. And the 
time draws near ; and ye shall hear of wars, and rumours 
of wars : (or commotions :) these things must first come to 
pass, but the end is not yet. Nation shall rise against na- 
tion, and kingdom against kingdom ; and great earthquakes 
shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences, 
and fearful sights ; and great signs shall there be from 
heaven. All these things are the beginning of sorrows. 
But, before all these things, shall they lay their hands 
upon you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the 
synagogues and into prisons, being brought before kings 
and rulers for my name's sake. And many shall be 
offended. Ye shall be betrayed both by parents and 


orethren, and kinsfolk and friends : and some of you 
shall they cause to be put to death, and ye shall be hated 
of all men for my name's sake. But there shall not a 
hair of your head perish. And many false prophets will 
arise and will deceive many : and, because iniquity shall 
abound, the love of many shall wax cold. And the 
gospel must first be published . among all nations, and 
then shall the end come. When ye, therefore, shall see 
Jerusalem encompassed with armies, and the abomina- 
tion of desolation stand in the holy place, and where it 
ought not, then let them which are in Judea flee to the 
mountains, and let him which is in the midst of it depart 
out. Let him which is on the house-top not go down 
into the house, neither enter therein to take any thing out 
of his house. Neither let him that is in the field turn 
back again for to take up his garment, for these are the 
days of vengeance. But wo unto them that are with 
child, and to them that give suck in those days; for 
there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon 
this people ; and they shall fall by the edge of the sword, 
and shall be led captive into all nations. There shall 
be great tribulation, such as was not fi:om the beginning 
of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be ; and 
Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until 
the time of the Gentiles be fiilfilled. This generation 
shall not pass away till all these things be done."^ 

" Wo unto you, scribes and Pharisees ; fill ye up the 
measure of your fathers. Behold, I send unto you pro- 
phets, and wise men, and scribes ; and some of them ye 
shall kill, and crucify, and some of them shall ye scourge 
in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to 
city. All these things shall come upon this generation. 
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, 
and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often 
would I have gathered thy children together, even as 
a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye 
would not ! Behold, your house is left unto you deso- 
late. For I say unto you. Ye shall not see me hence- 
' Matt. xxiv. ; Mark xiii. ; Luke xxi. 


forth till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the 
name of the Lord.^ 

" When he was come near, he beheld the city, and 
wept over it, saying. If thou hadst known, even thou, at 
least in this thy day, the things which belong to thy 
peace ! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the 
days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast 
a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep 
thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the 
ground, and thy children within thee ; and they shall 
not leave in thee one stone upon another, because thou 
knewest not the time of thy visitation. "^ 

These prophecies, from the Old Testament and from 
the New, repel the charge of ambiguity. They are 
equally copious and clear. History attests the truth of 
each and all of them ; and a recapitulation of them 
forms an enumeration of the facts. False Christs ap- 
peared. Simon Magus boasted that he was some great 
one. Dositheus, the Samaritan, pretended that he was 
the lawgiver prophesied of by Moses. Theudas, pro- 
mising the performance of a miracle, persuaded a great 
multitude to follow him to Jordan, and deceived many.^ 
The country was filled with impostors and deceivers, 
w^ho induced the people to follow them into the wilder- 
ness ;'' — their credulity became the punishment of their 
previous skepticism, and, in one instance, the tumult was 
so great, that the soldiers took two hundred prisoners, and 
slew twice that number. There were wars and ru- 
mours of wars ; nation rose against nation^ and kingdom 
against kingdom. The Jews resisted the erection of the 
statue of CaHgula in the temple ; and such was the dread of 
Roman resentment, that the fields remained uncultivated. 
At Caesarea, the Jews and Syrians contended for the 
mastery of the city. Twenty thousand of the former 
were put to death, and the rest were expelled. Every 

' Matt, xxiii. 29, 32, 34, 36—39. 2 Luke xix. 41 — 44. 

3 Joseph. Ant. lib. xx. cap. v. § 1. Quoted by Grotius, Whitby 
&c. &c. 

'' Joseph. Ant. lib. xx. cap. viii. quoted by Grotius, &e. 


city in Syria was then divided into two armies, and 
multitudes were slaughtered/ Alexandria and Damas- 
cus presented a similar scene of bloodshed. About 
fifty thousand of the Jews fell in the former, and ten 
thousand in the latter." The Jewish nation rebelled 
against the Romans ; Italy was convulsed with conten- 
tions for the empire; and, as ^ proof of the troublous 
and warlike character of the period, within the brief 
space of two years, four emperors, Nero, Galba, Otho, 
and Vitellius, suffered death. There were famines, pes- 
tilenceSy and earthqua/ces in divers places. In the reign 
of Claudius Caesar there were different famines. They 
continued to be severe for several years throughout the 
land of Judea. Pestilence succeeded them. In the 
same reign there were earthquakes at Rome, at Apamea, 
and at Crete. In that of Nero there was* an earthquake 
in Campania, and another in which Laodicea, Hierapo- 
lis, and Colosse were overthrown ; and others are re- 
corded to have happened in various places, before the 
destruction of the city of Jerusalem.^ " The constitu- 
tion of nature," says the Jewish historian,* " was con- 
founded for the destruction of men, and one might easily 
conjecture that no common calamities were portended." 
^nd there were fearful sights and signs from heaven. 
Tacitus and Josephus agree in relating and in describ- 
ing events so surprising and supernatural, that their nar- 
rative perfectly accords with the previous prediction.* 
And the fact cannot be disputed, that, whatever these 
sights were, the minds of men were impressed with the 

' Joseph. Ant. Hist. lib. ii. cap. xviii. §§ 1, 2. Tillotson, Bishop 
Newton, &c. 

2 Ibid. lib. ii. c. xviii. §§ 7, 8, c. xx. § 2. Ibid. 

3 Suet. Vit. Claud, cap. xviii. ; Tac. Ann. lib. xii. c. xliii., lib. 
xiv. c. xxvii. ; Jos. lib. iv. c. iv. Grotius, Whitby, &c. 

* Jos. Ibid. Whitby, Newton, Scott's Commentary. 

* "Evenerant prodigia, quae neque hostiis neque votis piare fas 
habel gens superstitioni obnoxia, religionibus adversa. Visas per 
coelum concurrere acies, rutilantia arma, et subito nubium igne 
collucere templum. Expassae repente delubri fores, et audita 
major humana vox, excedere deos; simul ingens motus exceden- 
lium." (Tacit. Hist. lib. v. cap. xiii.) Whitby, &c. 


idea that they were indeed signs from heaven : and even 
this could never have been foreseen by man. There is 
surely something at least unaccountable in their predic 
tion, and in their relation by historians, unprejudiced 
and unfriendly to the cause which their testimony sup- 
ports. The disciples of Jesus were persecuted, imprisoned, 
afflicted, and hated of all nations, for his name^s sake, 
and many of them were put to death. Peter, Simon, 
and Jude were crucified.^ Paul was beheaded; Mat- 
thew, Thomas, James, Matthias, Mark, and Luke, were 
put to death in different countries, and in various man- 
ners. There was a war against the very name. They 
were accused of hatred to the human race. The preju- 
dices and the interests of the supporters of paganism 
were everywhere against them ; and, in one memorable 
instance, Nero, to screen himself from the guilt of being 
the incendiary of his capital, accused the innocent but 
hated Christians of that atrocious deed, and inflicted 
upon them the most excruciating tortures.^ He made 
their sufferings a spectacle and a sport to the Romans. 
To compensate for his disappointment in not trampling 
on the ashes of Rome, as well as to cloak his iniquity, 
the monster (for the man and the monarch were both 
laid aside) gratified his savage lust of cruelty by the 
substitution of one feast for another; he selected the 
Christians for his victims, from the general odium under 
which they lay ; and their very name became the war- 
rant for that selection, and sufficed to sanction the in- 
fliction of unheard-of barbarities. Many shall be offended 
and shall betray one another ; and the love of many shall 
wax cold. The apostle of the gentiles often complained 
of false brethren, that many turned away from him, and 
that he stood alone, forsaken by all, when he first ap- 
peared before Nero. And Tacitus testifies that very 
many were convicted, on the evidence of others who 
had previously been accused. But the gospel was pub- 
lished throughout the world, in defiance of all peril and 

' Cave's Lives of the Apostles ; Dupin. 
2 Tacit. Annal. lib. xv. cap. xliv. Whitby, &c. 


persecution. In the age of the apostles, epistles were 
addressed to Christians at Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, 
Philippi, Colosse, Thessalonica, and in Pontus, Galatia, 
Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. After Christ deUvered 
this prophecy, he was in a little time forsaken by all his 
disciples, and put to death as a criminal. At their first 
assembly, they were a little flock, the number of the 
names together being about a hundred and twenty. And, 
unpromismg as the prospect was, a few fishermen of 
Galilee, aided afterwards by a tent-maker of Tarsus, 
circumscribed not their labours, in the preaching of the 
gospel, by the boundaries of the Roman empire. Could 
the reception or the fate of Christ himself have warranted 
such a conclusion? Did ever any cause triumph by 
such means ? or was there any cause opposed like his ? 
And could any thing be more unlikely to have been 
clearly foreseen and positively affirmed? All these 
events preceded the destruction of Jerusalem, and then 
the end of that city was at hand. The signs of its ap- 
proaching ruin are given as a warning to depart from it. 
Jerusalem was encompassed with armies. The Roman 
armies, with their idolatrous ensigns, which were an 
abomination to the Jews, surrounded it ; but instead of 
being a signal for flight, this would naturally have im- 
plied the impossibility of escape, and the warning would 
have been in vain. Yet the words of Jesus did not 
deceive his disciples. Cestius Gallus, the Roman gene- 
ral, besieged Jerusalem; but immediately after, contrary 
to all human probability, an interval was given for 
escape. He suddenly and causelessly retreated, though 
some of the chief men of the city had offered to open 
to him the gates. Josephus acknowledges that the 
utmost consternation prevailed among the besieged, and 
that the city would infallibly have been taken.* Anu 
he attributes it to the just vengeance of God, that the 
city and the sanctuary were not then taken, and the war 
terminated at once. He relates also, how many of the 
most illustrious inhabitants departed from the city, as fi:om 
' Joseph, lib. ii. cap. xix. xx. Grotius, &c. &c. 


a sinking vessel ; and how, upon the approach of Ves- 
pasian afterwards, multitudes fled from Jericho into the 
mountainous country. Thither, and to the city of Pella, 
fled all the disciples of Jesus :^ and, amidst all the suc- 
ceeding calamities, not a hair of their Iieads did perish. 

There shall be great tribulation, such as was not from, 
the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor shall ever 
be. There shall be great distress in the land, and wrath 
upon this people. T/iese are the days of vengeance. Such 
are some of the words of Jesus, relative to the destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem ; and all the previous prophecies re- 
garding it were of the same sad import. The particulars 
of the siege are all related by Josephus, and form a de- 
tail of miseries that admit not of exaggeration ; and 
which he repeatedly declares, in terms that entirely ac- 
cord with the language of prophecy, are altogether un- 
equalled in the history of the world. No general de- 
scription can give a just idea of calamities the most 
terrible that ever nation suffered. The Jews had assem- 
bled in their city from all the surrounding country, to 
keep the feast of unleavened bread. It was crowded 
with inhabitants, when they were all imprisoned within 
its walls. The passover, which was commemorative of 
their first great deliverance, had collected them for their 
last signal destruction. Before any external enemy ap- 
peared, the fiercest dissensions prevailed ; the blood of 
thousands was shed by their brethren ; they destroyed 
and burned in their frenzy their common provisions for 
the siege ; they were destitute of any regular government, 
and divided into three factions. On the extirpation of 
one of these, each of the others contended for the mas- 
tery. The most ferocious and frantic, the robbers or 
zealots, as they are indiscriminately called, prevailed at 
last. They entered the temple, under the pretence of 
off*ering sacrifices, and carried concealed weapons for the 
purpose of assassination. They slew the priests at the 
very altar ; and their blood, instead of that of the vic- 

' Epiphanius in Hseres. Nazar. cap. vii. ; Eusebii Ec, Hist. lib. 
iii. cap. V. Whitby, Doddridge, &c. 


tims for sacrifice, flowed around it. They afterwards 
rejected all terms of peace with the enemy ; none were 
suffered to escape from the city ; every house was en- 
tered, every article of subsistence was pillaged, and the 
most wanton barbarities were committed. Nothing could 
restrain their fury ; wherever there was the appearance 
or scent of food, the human bloodhounds tracked it out , 
and though a general famine raged around, though they 
were ever trampling on the dead, and though the habi- 
tations for the living were converted into charnel-houses, 
nothing could intimidate, or appal, or satisfy, or shock 
them, till Mary, the daughter of Eleazar, a lady once rich 
and noble, displayed to tliem and offered them all hei 
remaining food, the scent of which had attracted them 
in their search, — the bitterest morsel that ever mother or 
mortal tasted, — the remnant of her half-eaten suckling. 
Sixty thousand Roman soldiers unremittingly besieged 
them ; they encompassed Jerusalem with a wall, and 
hemmed them in on every side ; they brought down their 
high and fenced walls to the ground ; they slaughtered 
the slaughterers, they spared not the people ; they burned 
the temple, in defiance of the commands, the threats, and 
the resistance of their general. With it the last hope of 
all the Jews was extinguished. They raised, at the, 
sight, an universal but an expiring cry of sorrow and 
despair. Ten thousand were there slain, and six thou- 
sand victims were enveloped in its blaze. The whole 
city, full of the famished dying, and of the murdered 
dead, presented no picture but that of despair, no scene 
but of horror. The aqueducts and the city sewers were 
crowded as the last refuge of the hopeless. Two thou^ 
sand were found dead there, and many were dragged 
from thence and slain. The Roman soldiers put all in- 
discriminately to death, and ceased not till they became 
faint and weary and overpowered with the work of de- 
struction. But they only sheathed the sword to light the 
torch. They set fire to the city in various places. The 
flames spread everywhere, and were checked but for a 
moment by the red streamlets in every street. Jerusalem 


became heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high 
places of the forest. Within the circuit of a few miles, in 
the space of five months, — foes and famine, pillage and 
pestilence within, — a triple wall around, and besieged 
every moment from without, — eleven hundred thousand 
human beings perished, though the tale of each of them 
was a tragedy. Was there ever so concentrated a mass 
of misery ? Could any prophecy be more faithfully and 
awfully fulfilled ? The prospect of his own crucifixion, 
when Jesus was on his way to Calvary, was not more 
clearly before him, and seemed to affect him less, than 
the fate of Jerusalem. How full of tenderness, and 
fraught with truth, was the sympathetic response of the 
condohng sufferer, to the wailings and lamentations of 
the women who followed him, when he turned unto them 
and beheld the city, which some of them might yet see 
wrapt in flames and drenched in blood, and said, "Daugh- 
ters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for your- 
selves and for your children. For, behold, the days are 
coming, in the which they will say, Blessed are the bar- 
ren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which 
never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the 
mountains. Fall on us ; and to the hills. Cover us. For 
if they do these things in the green tree, what shall be 
done in the dry?" No impostor ever betrayed such 
feelings as a man, nor predicted events so unHkely, 
astonishing, and true, as an attestation of a divine com- 
mission. Jesus revealed the very judgments of God ; 
for such the instrument, by whom it was accomplished, 
interpreted the capture and destruction of Jerusalem, 
acknowledging that his own power would otherwise have 
been ineffectual. When eulogized for the victory, Titus 
disclaimed the praise, affirming that he was only the in- 
strument of executing the sentence of the divine justice. 
And their own historian asserts, in conformity with every 
declaration of Scripture upon the subject, that the iniqui- 
ties of the Jews were as unparalleled as their punishment 
All these prophecies, of which we have been review- 
ing the accomplishment, were delivered in a time of per- 


feet peace, when the Jews retained their own laws, and 
enjoyed the protection, as they were subject to the au- 
thority, of the Roman empire, then in the zenith of its 
power. The wonder excited in the minds of his disci- 
ples at the strength and stability of the temple, drew 
forth from Jesus the announcement of its speedy and utter 
ruin. He foretold the appearance of false Cfhrists and 
pretended prophets ; the wars and rumours of wars ; the 
famines and pestilences and earthquakes and fearful 
sights that were to ensue ; the persecution of his disci- 
ples ; the apostasy of many ; the propagation of the gos- 
pel ; the sign that should warn his disciples to flee from 
approaching ruin ; the encompassing and enclosing of 
Jerusalem ; the grievous affliction of the tender sex ; the 
unequalled miseries of all ; the entire destruction of the 
city ; the shortening of their sufferings, that still more 
might be saved ; and that all this dread crowd of events, 
which might well have occupied the progress of ages, 
was to pass away within the limits of a single generation. 
None but He who discerns futurity could have foretold 
and described all these things ; and their complete and 
literal fulfilment shows them to be indubitably the reve- 
lation of God. 

But the prophecies also mark minuter facts, if possible, 
more unlikely to have happened. Jerusalem was to be 
ploughed over as a field ; to be laid even with the 
ground ; of the temple one stone was not to be left upon 
another ; the Jews were to be few in number ; to be led 
captive into all nations ; to be sold for slaves, and none 
would buy them. And each of these predictions was 
strictly verified. Titus commanded the whole city and 
temple to be razed from the foundation. The soldiers 
were not then disobedient to their general. Avarice com- 
bined with duty and with resentment : the altar, the tem- 
ple, the walls and the city, were overthrown from the base, 
in search of the treasures which the Jews, beset on every 
hand by plunderers, had concealed and buried during 
the siege. Three towers and the remnant of a wall alone 
stood, the monument and memorial of Jerusalem; and 


the city was afterwards ploughed over by Terentius Ru- 
fus. In the siege, and in the previous and subsequent 
destruction of the cities and villages of Judea, according 
to the specified enumeration of Josephus, about one mil- 
'lion three hundred thousand suffered death. Ninety- 
seven thousand were led into captivity. They were sold 
for slaves, and were so despised and disesteemed, that 
many remained unpurchased. And their conquerors 
were so prodigal of their lives, that, in honour of the 
birth-day of Domitian, two thousand five hundred of 
them were placed, in savage sport, to contend with wild 
beasts, and otherwise to be put to death.* 

But the miseries of their race were not then at a close. 
There was a curse on the land, that hath scathed it, a 
judgment on the people, that hath scattered them through- 
out the world. Many prophecies respecting them yet 
remain to be considered, and much of their history is yel 
untold. The prophecies are as clear as the facts are 

' Tacitus, who flourished about thirty years after the destruction 
of Jerusalem, speaks of the strength of the fortifications of that 
city, the immense riches and strength of the temple, the factions 
that raged during the siege, as well as of the prodigies that pre- 
ceded its fall. And he particularly mentions .the large army 
brought by Vespasian to subdue Judea, "a fact which shows the 
magnitude and importance of the expedition." Philostratus par- 
ticularly relates, that Titus declared, after the capture of Jerusa- 
lem, that he was not worthy of the crown of victory, as he had 
only lent his hand to the execution of a work in which God was 
pleased to manifest his anger. Dion Cassius records the conquest 
of Judea by Titus and Vespasian, the obstinate and bloody resist- 
ance of the Jews during the siege, the destruction of the temple 
by fire. It is recorded by Maimonides, and in the Jewish Talmud, 
(as cited by Basnage and Lardner,) that Terentius Rufus, an ofli- 
cer in the Roman army, tore up with a ploughshare the foundations 
of the temple. The triumphal arch of Titus, commemorative of 
the destruction of Jerusalem, and with figures of Roman soldiers 
bearing on their shoulders the holy vessels of the temple, is still 
to be seen at Rome. 




While Moses, as a divine legislator, promised to the 
Israelites that their prosperity and happiness and peace 
would all keep pace with their obedience, he threatened 
them with a gradation of punishments, rising in propor- 
tion to their impenitence and iniquity: and neither in 
blessings nor in chastisements hath the Ruler among the 
nations dealt in like manner with any people. But their 
wickedness, and consequent calamities, greatly prepon- 
derated and are yet prolonged. The retrospect of the 
history of the Jews, since their dispersion, could not, at 
the present day, be drawn in truer terms, than in the 
unpropitious auguries of their prophet above three thou- 
sand two hundred years ago. In the most ancient of all 
records, we read the lively representation of the present 
condition of the most singular people upon earth. Mo- 
ses professed to look through the glass of ages; the 
revolution of many centuries has brought the object 
immediately before us : we may scrutinize the features 
of futurity as they then appeared to his prophetic gaze ; 
and we may determine between the probabilities whether 
they were conjectures of a mortal who " knows not what 
a day may bring forth,'' or the revelation of that Being 
" in whose sight a thousand years are but as yesterday." 

" I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw 
out a sword after you ; and your land shall be desolate, 
and your cities waste. And upon them that are left of 
you I will send a faintness into their hearts, in the lands 
of their enemies : and the sound of a shaken leaf shall 
chase them ; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword ; 
and they shall fall when none pursueth ; — and ye shall 
have no power to stand before your enemies. And ye 
shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your 


enemies shall eat you up. And they that are left of you 
shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies' lands ; 
and also in the iniquities of their fathers, shall they pine 
away with them. And yet for all that, when they be in 
the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, 
neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly.^ And 
the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, and ye 
shall be left few in number among the heathen whither 
the Lord shall lead you.^ The Lord shall cause thee to 
be smitten before thine enemies ; thou shalt go out one 
way against them, and flee seven ways before them, and 
shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth. » 
'I'he Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, 
and astonishment of heart ; and thou shalt grope at noon- 
day as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not 
prosper in thy ways : and thou shalt be only oppressed 
and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee. Thy 
sons and thy daughters shall be given unto another peo- 
ple. There shall be no might in thine hand. The 
fruit of thy land and all thy labours shall a nation, which 
thou knowest not, eat up ; and thou shalt be only op- 
pressed and crushed always ; so that thou shalt be mad 
for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see. The 
Lord shall bring thee unto a nation which neither thou 
nor thy fathers have known ; — and thou shalt become an 
astonishment, a proverb, and a by- word, among all na- 
tions whither the Lord shall lead thee.^ Because thou 
servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness and with 
gladness of heart for the abundance of all things ; there- 
fore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall 
send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in naked- 
ness, and in want of all things ; and he shall put a yoke 
of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee. 
And the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the 
plagues of thy seed, even great plagues and of long con- 
tinuance.^ All these curses shall come upon thee, and 
shall pursue thee, and overtake thee ; — and they shall be 

1 Lev. xxvi. 33, 36—39, 44. 2 Dgut. iv. 27. 3 Deut. xxviii. 25. 
4 Deut. xxviii. 28, 29, 32, 33, 36, 37. « Deut. xxviii. 47, 48, 59 


Upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy 
seed for ever. And it shall come to pass, that as the 
Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply 
you ; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, 
and to bring you to nought ; and ye shall be plucked 
from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. And 
the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the 
one end of the earth even unto the other. And among 
these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the 
sole of thy foot have rest ; but the Lord shall give thee 
there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow 
of mind ; and thy life shall hang in doubt before thee, 
and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none 
assurance of thy life. In the morning thou shalt say, 
Would God it were even ! and at even thou shalt say. 
Would God it were morning ! for the fear of thine heart 
wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine 
eyes which thou shalt see."* 

The writings of all the succeeding prophets abound 
with similar predictions. " I will cause them to be 
removed into all kingdoms of the earth. I will cast them 
out into a land that they know not, where I will show 
them no favour. I will feed them with wormwood, and 
give them water of gall to drink. I will scatter them 
also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their 
fathers have known.^ I will deliver them to be removed 
into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a 
reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all 
places whither I shall drive them : and I will send the 
sword, the famine, and the pestilence among them, till 
they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto 
them and to their fathers.^ I will bereave them of 
children : I will deliver them to be removed to all the 
kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, and an astonish- 
ment, and a hissing, and a reproach, among all the 
nations whither I have driven them.'* I will execute 
judgments in thee, and the whole remnant of thee will 

» Deut. xxviii. 45, 46, 63—67. 2 Jer. xv. 4, xvi. 13, ix. 15, 16. 
' Jer. xxiv. 9, 10. ^ jer. xv. 7, xxix. 18. 


I scatter into all the winds.* I will scatter them among 
the nations, and disperse them in the countries.^ They 
shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall 
be removed ; their silver and their gold shall not be 
able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the 
Lord ; they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their 
bowels, because it is the stumbling-block of their 
iniquity.^ I will sift the house of Israel among all 
nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not 
the least grain fall upon the earth. Death shall be 
chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that 
remain of this evil family, which remain in all the places 
whither I have driven them, saith the Lord of hosts. 
They shall be wanderers among the nations.'' Make 
the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, 
and shut their eyes ; lest they see with their eyes, and 
hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, 
and convert and be healed. Then said I, Lord, how 
long? And he answered. Until the cities be wasted 
without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and 
the land be utterly desolate, and the Lord have removed 
men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the 
midst of the land.^ Though they go into captivity 
before their enemies, thence will I command the sword, 
and it shall slay them ; and I will set mine eyes upon 
them for evil, and not for good. But he that scattereth 
Israel will gather him and keep him.^ But fear not 
thou, my servant Jacob, and be not dismayed, O 
Israel ; for, behold, I will save thee from afar off, and 
thy seed from the land of their captivity. — I will make 
a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee ; 
but I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee 
in measure ; yet will I not utterly cut thee off, or leave 
thee wholly unpunished.'^ The children of Israel shall 
abide many days without a king, and without a prince, 
and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and with- 

> Ezck. V. 10. 2 Ezek. xii. 15. 3 Ezek. vii. 19. 

'^ Amos ix. 9 ; Jer, viii. 3 ; Hos. ix. 17. * Isa. vi. 10—12. 

. 6 Amos ix. 4 ; Jer. xxxi. 10. ^ Jer. xlvi. 27, 28. 

^72 THE JEWS. 

out an ephod, and without a teraphim. Afterward shal; 
the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord theii 
God, and David their king ; and shall fear the Lord and 
his goodness in the latter days."'' 

All these predictions respecting the Jews are delivered 
with the clearness of history and the confidence of truth, 
They represent the manner, the extent, the nature, and the 
continuance of their dispersion'; their persecutions, their 
blindness, their sufferings, their feebleness, their fearful- 
ness, their pusillanimity, their ceaseless wanderings, their 
hardened impenitence, their insatiable avarice, and the 
grievous oppression, the continued spoliation, the marked 
distinction, the universal mockery, the unextinguishable 
existence, and unlimited diffusion of their race. They 
were to be plucked from off their own land^ smitten before 
their enemies^ consumed from off t/ieir own land, and 
left few in number. The Romans destroyed their cities 
and ravaged their country ; and the inhabitants who 
escaped from the famine, the pestilence, the sword, and 
the captivity, were forcibly expelled from Judea, and 
fled, as houseless wanderers, into all the surrounding 
regions. But they clung, for a time, around the land 
which their fathers had possessed for so many ages, and 
on w^hich they looked as an inheritance allotted by 
Heaven to their race ; and they would not relinquish 
their claim to the possession of it by any single over- 
throw, however great. Unparalleled as were the 
miseries which they had suffered in the slaughter of their 
kindred, the loss of their property and their homes, the 
annihilation of their power, the destruction of their 
capital city, and the devastation of their country by 
Titus ; yet the fugitive and exiled Jews soon resorted 
again to their native soil ; and sixty years had scarcely 
elapsed, when, deceived by an impostor, allured by the 
hope of a triumphant Messiah, and excited to revolt by 
intolerable oppression, they strove by a vigorous and 
united but frantic effort to reconquer Judea, to cast off 
the power of the Romans, which had everywhere 
' Hosea iii. 4, 5. 


crushed them, and to rescue themselves and their coun- 
try from ruin. A war which their enthusiasm and 
desperation aUke protracted for two years, and in which, 
exclusive of a vast number that perished by famine and 
sickness and fire, five hundred and eighty thousand 
Jews are said to have been slain, terminated in their 
entire discomfiture and final banishment. They were 
so beset on every side, and cut down in detached por- 
tions by the Roman soldiers, that, in the words of a 
heathen historian, very few of them escaped. Fifty of 
their strongholds were razed from the ground, and their 
cities sacked and consumed by fire ; Judea was laid 
waste and left as a desert.^ Though a similar fate never 
befell any other people without proving the extirpation 
of their race or the last of their miseries, that awful 
prediction, in its reference to the Jews, met its full 
completion, which yet they survive, to await in every 
country, when exiles from their own, an accumulation 
of almost unceasing calamities, protracted throughout 
many succeeding ages. The cities shall he wasted with- 
out inhabitant. Every city shall he forsaken, and not a 
man dwell therein. They were rooted out of their land 
in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation.^ A 
pubHc edict of the emperor Adrian rendered it a capital 
crime for a Jew to set a foot in Jerusalem ;^ and pro- 
hibited them from viewing it even at a distance. Hea- 
thens, Christians, and Mahometans have alternately 
possessed Judea. It has been a prey of the Saracens : 
the descendants of Ishmael have often overrun it : the 
children of Israel have alone been denied the possession 
of it, though thither they ever wish to return, and though 
it forms the only spot on earth where the ordinances of 
their religion can be observed. And, amidst all the 
revolutions of states, and the extinction of many nations, 

' Dion Cassius, lib. Ixix. Jackson, Patrick, Basnage, &c. 

2 Isaiah vi. 11 ; Jer. iv. 29 ; Deut. xxix. 28. 

3 Tertul. Ap. c. xxi. p. 51 ; Ibid. Adv. Judosos, c. xiii. p. 146, 
ed. Paris, 1608. Basnage's Continuation of Josephus, b. vi. 
c. 9, § 27. 



in so long a period, the Jews alone have not only ever 
been aliens in the land of their fathers, but whenever 
any of them have been permitted, at any period since 
the time of their dispersion, to sojourn there, they have 
experienced even more contumelious treatment than 
elsewhere. Benjamin of Tudela, who travelled in the 
twelfth century through great part of Europe and of Asia, 
tbund the Jews everywhere oppressed, particularly in 
Jhe Holy Land. And to this day, (while the Jews who 
.•eside in Palestine, or who resort thither in old age, that 
cheir bones may not be laid in a foreign land, are alike 
ill-treated and abused by Greeks, Armenians, and Eu- 
ropeans,*) the haughty deportment of the despotic Mus- 
sulman, and the abject state of the poor and helpless 
Jews, are painted to the life by the prophet. The 
stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very 
high, and thou shall come down very low.^ 

But the extent is still more remarkable than the man- 
ner of their dispersion. Many prophecies describe it, 
and foretold, thousands of years ago, what we now be- 
hold. They have been scattered among the nations — 
among the heathen — among the people^ even from one end 
of the earth unto the other. They have been removed into 
all the kingdoms of the earth ; the whole remnant of them 
has been scattered into all the winds : they have been dis- 
persed throughout all countries, and sfted among the 
nations like as corn is sifted in a sieve, and yet not the 
least grain has fallen upon the earth: though dispersed 
throughout all nations, they have remained distinct from 
them all. And there is not a country on the face of 
the earth where the Jews are unknown. They are found 
alike in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. They are 
citizens of the world, without a country. Neither moun- 
tains, nor rivers, nor deserts, nor oceans, which are the 
boundaries of other nations, have terminated their wan- 
derings. They abound in Poland, in Holland, in Russia, 
and in Turkey. In Germany, Spain, Italy, France, and 
Britain, they are more thinly scattered. In Persia, 

' General Straton's MS. Journal. ^ Deut. xxviii. 43. 


China, and India, on the east and on the west of the 
Ganges, they are few in number among the heathen. 
They have trod the snows of Siberia, and the sands of 
the burning desert ; and the European traveller hears of 
their existence in regions which he cannot reach, even 
in the very interior of Africa, south of Timbuctoo.* 
From Moscow to Lisbon, from Japan to Britain, from 
Borneo to Archangel, from Hindostan to Honduras, no 
inhabitant of any nation upon the earth would be known 
in all the intervening regions but a Jew alone. 

But the history of the Jews throughout the whole 
world, and in every age since their dispersion, verifies 
the most minute predictions concerning them ; and to a 
recital of facts, too well authenticated to admit of dis- 
pute, or too notorious for contradiction, may be added 
a description of them all in the very terms of the pro- 
phecy. In the words of Basnage, the elaborate historian 
of the Jews, " Kings have often employed the severity 
of their edicts, and the hands of the executioner, to 
destroy them ; the seditious multitude has performed 
massacres and executions infinitely more tragical than 
the princes. Both kings and people, heathens. Christians, 
and Mahometans, who are opposite in so many things, 
have united in the design of ruining this nation, and 
have not been able to effect it. The bush of Moses, 
surrounded with flames, has always burnt without con- 
suming. The Jews have been driven from all places 
of the world, which has only served to disperse them in 
all parts of the universe. They have, from age to age, 
run through misery and persecution, and torrents of their 
own blood. "^ Their banishment from Judea was only 
the prelude to their expulsion from city to city, and 
from kingdom to kingdom. Their dispersion over the 
globe is an irrefragable evidence of this, and many re- 
cords remain that amply corroborate the fact. Not only 

did the first and second centuries of the Christian era 

' Lyon's Travels in Africa, p. 146. 

'^ Basnage, b. vi. c. i. § 1 ; Jortin's Remarks on Eccl. Hist. vol. 
ii. p. 181, &c. 


see them twice rooted out of their own land, but each 
succeeding century has teemed with new calamities to 
that once chosen but now long-rejected race. The his- 
tory of their sufferings is a continued tale of horror. 
Revolt is natural to the oppressed ; and their frequent 
seditions were productive of renewed privations and dis- 
tresses. Emperors, kings, and caliphs all united in sub- 
jecting them to the same " iron yoke.'' Constantine, 
after having suppressed a revolt which they raised, and 
having commanded their ears to be cut off, dispersed 
them as fugitives and vagabonds into different countries, 
whither they carried, in terror to their kindred, the mark 
of their suffering and infamy. In the fifth century they 
were expelled from Alexamdria, which had long been 
one of their safest places of resort. Justinian, from 
whose principles of legislation a wiser and more hu- 
mane policy ought to have emanated, yielded to none 
of his predecessors in hostility and severity ag*ainst 
them. He abolished their synagogues, prohibited them 
even from entering into caves for the exercise of their 
worship, rendered their testimony inadmissible, and de- 
prived them of the natural right of bequeathing their 
property : and when such oppressive enactments led to 
insurrectionary movements among the Jews, their pro- 
perty was confiscated, many of them were beheaded, 
and so bloody an execution of them prevailed, that, eis 
is expressly related, " all the Jews of that country trem- 
bled ;"^ a trembling heart was given them. In the reign 
of the tyremt Phocas, a general sedition broke out among 
the Jews in Syria. They and their enemies fought with 
equal desperation. They obtained the mastery in An- 
tioch ; but a momentary victory only led to a deeper 
humiliation, and to the infliction of more aggravated 
cruelties than before. They were soon subdued and 
taken captive ; many of them were maimed, otliers exe- 
cuted, and all the survivors were banished from the 
city. Gregory the Great afforded them a temporary 
respite fi-om oppression, which only rendered their 
' Basnags's Hist. b. v^i. c. xxi. § 9. 


spoliation more complete, and their suffeiing more acute, 
under the cruel oppression of Heraclius. That emperor, 
unable to satiate his hatred against them by inflicting a 
variety of punishments on those who resided within his 
own dominions, and by finally expeUing them from the 
'empire, exerted so effectually against them his influence 
in other countries, that they suffered under a general and 
simultaneous persecution from Asia to the furthest ex- 
tremities of Europe/ In Spain, -conversion, imprison- 
ment, or banishment, were their only alternatives. In 
France, a similar fate awaited them. They fled from 
country to country, seeking in vain any rest for the sole 
of their foot. Even the wide-extended plains of Asia 
afforded them no resting-place, but have often been 
spotted with their blood, as well as the hills and valleys 
of Europe. Mahomet, whose imposture has been the 
law and the faith of such countless millions, has, from 
the precepts of the Koran, infused into the minds of his 
followers a spirit of rancour and enmity towards the 
despised and misbeUeving Jews. He set an early ex- 
ample of persecution against them, which the Mahome- 
tans have not yet ceased to imitate. In the third year 
of the Hegira, he besieged the castles which they pos- 
sessed in the Hegiasa, compelled those who had fled to 
them for refuge and defence to an unconditional surren- 
der, banished them the country, and parted their pro- 
perty among his Mussulmans. He dissipated a second 
time their recombined strength, massacred many of 
them, and imposed upon the remnant a permanent tri- 
bute. The church of Rome ever ranked and treated 
them as heretics. The canons of different councils pro- 
nounced excommunication against those who should 
favour or uphold the Jews against Christians ; enjoined 
all Christians neither to eat nor to hold any commerce 
with them ; prohibited them from bearing public oflSces 
or having Christian slaves ; appointed them to be dis- 
tinguished by a mark; decreed that their children should 
be taken from them, and brought up in monasteries ; 
' Basnage's Hist. b. vi. c. xxi. § 17. 


and, what is equally descriptive of the low estimation ir 
which they were held, and of the miseries to which they 
were subjected, there was often a necessity, even for 
those who otherwise oppressed them, to ordain that it 
was not lawful to take the life of a Jew without any 
cause.* Hallaun's account of the Jews, during the mid- 
dle £iges, is short, but significant. " They were every- 
where the objects of popular iriSult and oppression, fre- 
quently of a general massacre. A time of festivity to 
others was often the season of mockery and persecution 
to them. It was the custom at Thoulouse to smite them 
on the face every Easter. At Beziers they were at- 
tacked with stones from Palm-Sunday to Easter, an 
anniversary of insult and cruelty generally productive 
of bloodshed, and to which the populace were regu- 
larly instigated by a sermon from the bishop. It 
was the policy of the kings of France to employ 
them as a sponge to suck their subjects' money, which 
they might afterwards express with less odium than 
direct taxation would incur. It is almost incredible 
to what a length extortion of money from the Jews 
was carried. A series of alternate persecution and 
tolertmce was borne by this extraordinary people with 
an invincible perseverance, and a talent of accumu- 
lating riches, which kept pace with the exactions of 
their plunderers. Philip Augustus released all Chris- 
tians in his dominions from their debts to the Jews, 
reserving a fifth part to himself. He afterwards expelled 
the whole nation from France."^ St. Louis twice ba- 
nished, and twice recalled them ; and Charles VI. finally 
expelled them from France. From that country, ac- 
cording to Mezeray, they were seven times banished. 
They were expelled from Spain ; and by the lowest 
computation, one hundred and seventy thousand fami- 

• Dupin^s Ecc. Hist. Canons of different councils; Toledo, a., v. 
633 ; Meaux, 845 ; Paris, 846 ; Pavia, 850 ; Metz, Coyaco, 1050 ; 
Rouen, 1074; Ravenna, 1311; Saltzburgh, 1420. 

2 Hallam, vol. i. pp. 233, 234. 


lies departed from that kingdom.^ " At Verdun, Treves, 
Mentz, Spires, Worms, many thousands of them were 
pillaged and massacred. A remnant was saved by a 
feigned and transient conversion ; but the greater part 
of them barricaded their houses, and precipitated them- 
selves, their families, and their wealth, into the rivers or 
the flames. These massacres and depredations on the 
Jew^s were renewed at each crusade."^ In England, 
also, they suffered great cruelty and oppression at the 
same period. During the crusades, the whole nation 
united in the persecution of them. In a single instance 
at York, fifteen hundred Jews, including women and 
children, were refused all quarter, could not purchase 
their lives at any price, and, frantic with despair, perished 
by a mutual slaughter. Each master was the murderer 
of his family, when death became their only deliverance. 
The scene of the castle of Massada, which was their last 
fortress in Palestine, and where nearly one thousand 
perished in a similar manner,^ was renewed in the castle 
of York. So despised and hated were they, that the 
barons, when contending with Henry III., to ingratiate 
themselves with the populace, ordered seven hundred 
Jews to be slaughtered at once, their houses to be plun- 
dered, and their synagogue to be burned. Richard, 
John, and Henry III. often extorted money from them ; 
and the last, by the most unscrupulous and unsparing 
measures, usually defrayed his extraordinary expenses 
with their spoils, and impoverished some of the richest 
among them.^ His extortions at last became so enor- 
mous, and his oppression so grievous, that, in the words 
of the historian, he reduced the miserable wretches to 
desire leave to depart the kingdom ;* but even self-ba- 
nishment was denied them. Edward I. completed their 
misery, seized on all their property, and banished them 

1 Basnage, b. vii. c. xxi. Bishop Newton, 

2 Gibbon's Hist. vol. xi. c. Iviii. p. 26. 

3 Basnage, b. vii. c. x. sect. 20 ; Joseph, b. vii. c. viii ix. Bp. 
Newton ; Rapin's Hist, of England, vol. iii. p. 97. 

* Rapin's History of England, vol. iii. p. 405. 


the kingdom. Above fifteen thousand Jews were render, ?.d 
destitute of any residence, were despoiled to the utmost, 
and reduced to ruin. Nearly four centuries elapsed 
before the return to Britain of this abused race. 

Some remarkable circumstances attest, without a pro- 
longed detail of their miseries, that they have been a 
people everywhere peculiarly oppressed. The first un- 
equivocal attempt at legislatioft in France was an ordi- 
nance against the Jews. And towards them alone one 
of the noblest charters of liberty on earth — Magna Charta, 
the Briton's boast — legalized an act of injustice.* For 
many ages after their dispersion, they found no resting- 
place in Europe, Asia, or Africa, but penetrated, in search 
of one, to the extremities of the world. In Mahometan 
countries they have ever been subject to persecution, 
contempt, and every abuse. They are in general con- 
fined to one particular quarter of every city, (as they for- 
merly were to old Jewry in London ;) they are restricted 
to a peculiar dress ; and in many places are shut up at 
stated hours. In Hamadan, as in all parts of Persia, 
" they are an abject race, and support themselves by 
driving a peddling trade ; — they Uve in a state of great 
misery, pay a monthly tax to the government, and are 
not permitted to cultivate the ground, or to have landed 
possessions."^ They cannot appear in public, much less 
perform their religious ceremonies, without being treated 
with scorn and contempt.^ The revenues of the prince 
of Bokhara are derived from a tribute paid by five hun- 
dred families of Jews, who are assessed according to the 
means of each. In Zante they exist in miserable indi- 
gence, and are exposed to considerable oppression."* At 
Tripoli, when any criminal is condemned to death, the 
first Jew who happens to be at hand is compelled to 
become the executioner ; a degradation to the children 
of Israel to which no Moor is ever subjected.* In Egypt 

' Articles xii. xiii. 

* Morier's Travels in Persia, p. 379. 

3 Sir J. Malcolm's History of Persia, vol. ii. p. 425. 

* Hughes' Travels, vol. i. p. 150. * Lyon's Travels, p. 16. 


they are despised and persecuted incessantly/ In Arabia 
they are treated with more contempt than in Turkey.^ 
The remark is common to the most recent travellers both 
•in Asia and Africa,^ that the Jews themselves are asto- 
nished, and the natives indignant, at any act of kindness, 
or even of justice, that is performed towards any of this 
" despised nation" and persecuted people. In Southey's 
Letters from Spain and Portugal, this remarkable testi- 
mony is borne respecting them ; " Till within the last 
fifty years the burning of a Jew formed the highest de- 
light of the Portuguese ; they thronged to behold this 
triumph of the faith, and the very women shouted with 
transport as they saw the agonized martyr writhe at the 
stake. Neither sex nor age could save this persecuted 
race ; and Antonio Joseph de Silvia, the best of their 
dramatic writers, was burned alive because he was a 
Jew." Few years have elapsed since there was a se- 
vere persecution against them in Prussia and in Germany, 
and in several of the smaller states of the latter country 
they are not permitted to sell any goods even in the 
common markets. The pope has lately re-enacted some 
severe edicts against them : and ukases have recently 
been issued in quick succession,^ restraining the Jews 
from all traffic throughout the interior government of 
Russia. They are absolutely prohibited, on pain of 
immediate banishment, from " offering any article to 
sale,"^ whether in public or private, either by themselves 
or by others. They are not allowed to reside, even for 
a limited period, in any of the cities of Russia, without 
an express permission from government, which is granted 
only in cases where their services are necessary or directly 

1 Denon's Travels in Egypt, vol. i. p. 213. 

2 Niebuhr's Travels, vol", i. p. 408. 

3 Morier's Travels in Persia, p. 266 • Lyon's Travels in Africa, 
p. 32. 

4 1 6th November, 1797. 25th February, 1823. 8th June, 1826. 
(August or November) 1827. 

* Ukase, quoted from "The World," of date 31st October, 1827 
lb. article viii. 


beneficial to the state. A refusal to depart, when they 
become obnoxious to so rigid a law, subjects them to be 
treated as vagi*ants ; and none are suffered to protect or 
to shelter them. Though the observance of such edicts 
must, in numerous instances, leave them destitute of any 
means of support, yet their breach or neglect exposes 
them to oppression under the sanction of the law, and to 
every privation and insult, without remedy or appeal. 
And though they may thus become the greatest objects 
of pity, all laws of humanity are reversed by imperial 
decrees towards them. For those who harbour Jews 
that are condemned to banishment for having done what 
all others may innocently do, are, as the last Russian 
ukase respecting them bears, " amenable to the laws as 
the abettors of vagrants," and, as in numberless instances 
besides, no man shall save them. 

While the recent ameliorated condition of the Jews 
in the more civilized countries of Europe begins to give 
promise of the dawn of that day when the cup of trem- 
bling shall be taken out of their hands, and while signs 
are not wanting to show that it shall be given into the 
hands of their enemies, new illustrations may still be 
adduced to this hour of the indignities and miseries to 
which they are subjected. The latest testimony from 
Turkey bears that " it is impossible to express the con- 
temptuous hatred in which the Osmanlis (Turks) hold 
the Jewish people ; and the veriest Turkish urchin who 
may encounter one of the fallen nation on his path, has 
his mite of insult to add to the degradation of the out- 
cast and wandering race of Israel. Nor dare the op- 
pressed party revenge himself even upon this puny 
enemy, whom his very name suffices to raise up against 
him."* Instances are added of a Turkish boy of ten 
years of age felling to the earth a feeble Jewess, and of 
Turkish boys, in their amusements, insulting and tor- 
menting a Jew. / will give children to be tJieir princes , 

' The City of the Sultan, and the Domestic Manners of the 
Turks in 1836, by Miss Pardoe, vol. ii. p. 362, 363. 


and babes shall rule over them. Ms for my people, child- 
ren are their oppressors ^ 

These facts, though they form but a brief and most 
imperfect record, and therefore but a very faint image of 
all their sufferings, show that the Jews have been removed 
into all kingdoms for their hurt ; that a sword has been 
drawn after them ; that they have found no rest for the 
sole of their foot ; that they have not been able to stand 
before their enemies; there has been no might in their 
hands ; their very avarice has proved their misery ; they 
have been spoiled evermore ; they have been oppressed and 
crushed alway ; they have been mad for the sight of their 
eyes that they did see, as the tragical scenes at Massada, 
and York, and many others testify : they have often been 
left in hunger, and thirst, and nakedness, and in want of 
all things ; a trembling heart and sorrow of mind have 
been their portion ; they have often had none assurance of 
their life ; their plagues have been wonderful and great, 
and of long continuance ; and they have been for a sign 
and for a wonder during many generations. 

But the predictions rest not even here. It was dis- 
tinctly prophesied that the Jews would reject the gospel; 
that, from the meanness of his mortal appearance, and 
the hardness of their hearts, they would not believe in a 
suffering Messiah ; that they would be smitten with blind- 
ness and astonishment of heart ; that they would continue 
long, having their ears deaf, their eyes closed, and their 
hearts hardened ; and that they would grope at noon-day, 
as the blind gropeth in darkness.^ And the great body of 
the Jewish nation has continued long to reject Christian- 
ity. They retain the prophecies, but discern not their 
light, having obscured them by their traditions. Many 
of their received opinions are so absurd and impious, 
their rites are so unmeaning and frivolous, their ceremo- 
nies are so minute, absurd, and contemptible, that the 
account of them would surpass credibility, were it not a 
transcript of their customs and of their manners, and 

» Isa. iii. 4, 12. 2 Deut. xxviii. 29. 


drawn from their own authorities.' No words can more 
strikingly or justly represent the contrast between their 
irrational tenets, their degraded religion, their supersti- 
tious observances, and the dictates of enlightened reason, 
and of the gospel which they vilify, than the emphatic 
description, l^twy grope at noon-day, as tlie blind gropeth 
in darkness. And if any other instances be wanting of 
the prediction of events infinitely exceeding human fore- 
sight, the dispositions of all nations respecting them are 
revealed as explicitly as their own. That the Jews have 
been a proverb, an astonishment, a by-word, a taunt, and 
a hissing among all nations, — though one of the most 
wonderful of facts, unparalleled in the whole history of 
mankind, and as inconceivable in its prediction as miracu- 
lous in its accoipplishment, — is a truth that stands not in 
need of any illustration or proof, and of which witnesses 
could be found in every country under heaven. Many 
prophecies concerning the Jews, of more propitious im- 
port, that yet remain to be accomplished, are reserved for 
testimonies to future generations, if not to the present.^ 
But it is worthy of remark, as prophesied concerning 
them, that they have not been utterly destroyed, though a 
full end has been made of their enemies ; that the Egyp- 
tians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Romans, though 
some of the mightiest monarchies that ever existed, have 
not a single representative on earth ; while the Jews, 
oppressed and vanquished, banished and enslaved, and 
spoiled evermore, have survived them all, and to this 
hour overspread the world. Of all the nations around 
Judea, the Persians alone, who restored them from the 
Babylonish captivity, yet remain a kingdom. 

The Scriptures also declare that the covenant with 
Abraham, that God would give the land of Canaan to 
his seed for an everlasting possession, would never be 
broken ; but that the children of Israel shall be taken 
from among the heathen, gathered on every side, and 

» See Allen's Modem Judaism. The Edinburgh Encyclopedia, 
art. Jews. 

' See Appendix, No. II. 


brought into their own land, to dwell forever where their 
fathers dwelt. Three thousand seven hundred years have 
elapsed since the promise was given to Abraham : and 
is it less than a miracle, that, if this promise had been 
made to the descendants of any but of Abraham alone, 
it could not now possibly have been realized, as there 
exists not on earth the known and acknowledged pos- 
terity of any other individual, or almost of any nation, 
contemporary with him ? 

That the people of a single state (which was of very 
limited extent and power in comparison of some of the 
monarchies which surrounded it) should first have been 
rooted up out of their own land in anger, wrath, and 
great indignation, the like of which was never expe- 
rienced by the mightiest among the ancient empires, 
which all fell imperceptibly away at a lighter stroke ; and 
that afterwards, though scattered among all nations, and 
finding no ease among them all, they should have with- 
stood eighteen centuries of almost unremitted persecu- 
tion ; and that after so many generations have elapsed, 
they should still retain their distinctive form, or, as it 
may be called, their individuality of character, is assured- 
ly the most marvellous event that is recorded in the his- 
tory of nations; and if it be not acknowledged as a 
" sign," it is in reality, as well as in appearance, " a 
wonder," the most inexplicable within the province of 
the philosophy of history. But that, after the endurance 
of such manifold woes, such perpetual spoliation, and so 
many ages of unmitigated suffering, during which their 
life was to hang in doubt within them, they should still be, 
as actually they are, the possessors of great wealth ; and 
that this fact should so strictly accord with the prophecy, 
which describes them on their final restoration to Judea, 
as taking their silver and their gold v)ith them, and eat- 
ing the riches of the gentiles ;^ and also that, though cap- 
tives or fugitives " few in number," and the miserable 
remnant of an extinguished kingdom at the time they 
were " scattered abroad," they should be to this hour a 
1 Isa. Ix. 9, Ixi. 6. 


numerous people, — and that this should have been ex- 
pressly implied in the prophetic declaration descriptive 
of their condition on their restoration to Judea, after all 
their wanderings, that tlie land shall he too narrow by 
reason of the inhabitants^ and that place shall not be found 
for than ;* are facts which as clearly show, to those who 
consider them at all, the operation of an overruling Pro- 
vidence, as the revelation of such an inscrutable destiny 
is the manifest dictate of inspiration. 

Such are the prophecies, and such are the facts, re- 
specting the Jews ; and from premises like these the 
feeblest logician may draw a moral demonstration. If 
they had been utterly destroyed ; if they had mingled 
among the nations : if, in the space of nearly eighteen cen- 
turies after their dispersion, they had become extinct as 
a people ; even if they had been secluded in a single 
region, and had remained united ; if their history had 
been analogous to that of any nation upon the earth, an 
attempt might, with some plausibility or reason, have 
been made, to show cause why the prediction of their 
fate, however true to the fact, ought not in such case to 
be sustained as evidence of the truth of inspiration. Or 
if the past history and present state of the Jews were 
not of a nature so singular and peculiar as to bear out 
to the very letter the truth of the prophecies concerning 
them, with what triumph would the infidel have pro- 
duced these very prophecies as fatal to the idea of the 
inspiration of the Scriptures ! And when the Jews have 
been scattered throughout the whole earth ; when they 
have remained everywhere a distinct race ; when they 
have been despoiled evermore, and yet never destroyed ; 
when the most wonderful and amazing facts, such as 
never occurred among any people, form the ordinary 
narrative of their history, and fuHil literally the prophe- 
cio^s concerning them, may not the believer challenge his 
adversary to the production of such credentials of the 
feith that is in him *:? They present an unbroken chain 
of evidence, each link a prophecy and a fact, extending 
> Isa. xlix. 19 ; Zech. x. 10. 


throughout a multitude of generations, and not yet termi- 
nated. Though the events, various and singular as they 
are, have been brought about by the instrumentality of 
human means, and the agency of secondary causes, yet 
they are equally prophetic and miraculous ; for the means 
were as impossible to be foreseen as the end, and the 
causes were as inscrutable as the event ; and they have 
been, and still in numberless instances are, accomplished 
by the instrumentality of the enemies of Christianity. 
Whoever seeks a miracle, may here behold a sign and 
a w^onder, than which there cannot be a greater. And 
the Christian may bid defiance to all the assaults of his 
enemies from this stronghold of Christianity, impenetra- 
ble and impregnable on every side. 

The prophecies concerning the Jews are as clear as a 
narrative of the events. They are ancient as the oldest 
records in existence ; and it has never been denied that 
they were all delivered before the accomplishment of 
one of them. They were so unimaginable by human 
wisdom, that the whole compass of nature has never 
exhibited a parallel to the events. And the facts are 
visible, and present, and applicable even to a hair-breadth. 
Could Moses, as an uninspired mortal, have described 
the history, the fate, the dispersion, the treatment, the 
dispositions of the Israelites to the present day, or for 
three thousand two hundred years, seeing that he was 
astonished, and amazed on his descent from Sinai, at the 
change in their sentiments and in their conduct, in the 
space of forty days ? Could various persons have testi- 
fied, in diflferent ages, of the self-same and of similar 
facts, as wonderful as they have proved to be true ? 
Could they have divulged so many secrets of futurity, 
when of necessity they were utterly ignorant of them 
all ? The probabilities are infinite against them. For 
the mind of man often fluctuates in uncertainty over the 
nearest events and the most probable results ; but in 
regard to remote ages, when thousands of years shall 
have elapsed, and to facts respecting them, contrary to 
all previous knowledge, experience, analogy, or concep- 


tion, it feels that they are dark as death to mortal ken. 
And, viewing only the dispersion of the Jews, and some 
of its attendant circumstances ; how their city was laid 
desolate ; their temple, which formed the constant place 
of their resort before, levelled with the ground, and 
ploughed over like a field ; their country ravaged, 
and themselves murdered in mass; falling before the 
sword, the famine and the pestilence ; how a remnant 
was left, but despoiled, persecuted, enslaved, and led 
into captivity; driven from their own' land, not to 
a mountainous retreat, where they might subsist with 
safety, but dispersed among all nations, and left to the 
mercy of a world that everywhere hated and oppressed 
them ; shattered in pieces like the wreck of a vessel in 
a mighty storm ; scattered over the earth, like fragments 
on the waters, and, instead of disappearing, or mingling 
with the nations, remaining a perfectly distinct people, 
in every kingdom the same, retaining similar habits and 
customs, and creeds, and manners, in every part of the 
globe, though without ephod, teraphim, or sacrifice; 
meeting everywhere the same insult, and mockery, and 
oppression ; finding no resting-place without an enemy 
soon to dispossess them ; multiplying amidst all their 
miseries ; surviving their enemies ; beholding, un- 
changed, the extinction of many nations, and the con- 
vulsions of all ; robbed of their silver and of their gold, 
though cleaving to the love of them still, as the stum- 
bling-block of their iniquity; often bereaved of their 
very children ; disjoined and disorganized, but uniform 
and unaltered ; ever bruised, but never broken ; weak, 
fearful, sorrowful, and afflicted ; often driven to madness 
at the spectacle of their own misery ; taken up in the 
lips of talkers ; the taunt and hissing, and infamy of all 
people, and continuing ever, what they are to this day, 
the sole proverb common to the whole world ; how^ did 
every fact, from its very nature, defy all conjecture, and 
DOW could mortal man, overlooking a hundred succes- 
sive generations, have foretold any one of these wonders 
that are now conspicuous in thest latter times ? Who 


but the Father of spirits, possessed of perfect pre- 
science, even of the knowledge of the will, and of the 
actions of free, intelligent, and moral agents, could have 
revealed their unbounded and yet unceasing wanderings, 
unveiled all their destiny, and unmasked the minds of 
the Jews and of their enemies, in every age and in every 
clime ? The creation of a world might as well be the 
work of chance as the revelation of these things. It is 
a visible display of the power and of the prescience of 
God, an accumulation of many miracles. And although 
it forms but a part of a small portion of the Christian 
evidence, it lays not only a stone of stumbling, such as 
infidels would try to cast in a Christian's path, but it 
fixes an insurmountable barrier at the very threshold of 
infidelity, immovable by all human device, and imper- 
vious to every attack. 



The writings of the Jewish prophets not only de- 
scribed the fate of that people for many generations 
subsequent to the latest period to which the most un- 
yielding skepticism can pretend to affix the date of these 
predictions ; but while the cities were teeming with in- 
habitants, and the land flowing with abundance, for cen- 
turies before Judea ceased to count its millions, they 
foretold the long reign of desolation that would ensue. 
The land is a witness as well as the people. Its aspect 
in the present day is the precise likeness delineated by 
the pencil of prophecy, when every feature that could 
admit of change was the reverse of w^hat it now is : and 
it is necessary only to compare the predictions them- 
selves with that proof of their fiilfilment which, were 

90 JUDEA. 

all other testimony to be excluded, heathens and infidels 

The calamities of the Jews were to arise progressively 
with their iniquities. They were to be punished again 
and again, " yet seven times for their sins."* And in 
the greatest of the denunciations which were to fill up 
the measure of their punishments, the long-continued 
desolation of their country is ranked among the worst 
and latest of their woes ; and the prophecies respecting 
it which admit of a literal interpretation, and which 
have been literally fulfilled, are abundantly clear and 

" I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanc- 
tuaries unto desolation. And I will bring the land into 
desolation ; and your enemies which dwell therein shall 
be astonished at it. And I will scatter you among the 
heathen, and will draw out a sword after you ; and your 
land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. Then 
shall the land enjoy her Sabbaths, as long as it lieth de- 
solate, and ye be in your enemies' land ; even then shall 
the land rest and enjoy her Sabbaths. The land also 
shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her Sabbaths while 
she lieth desolate without them.^ So that the genera- 
tion to come of your children that shall rise up after you, 
and the stranger that shall come from a far land, shall 
say, when they see the plagues of that land, and the 
sicknesses which the Lord hath laid upon it, Wherefore 
hath the Lord done thus unto this land ? what meaneth 
the heat of this great anger ? The anger of the Lord 
was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the 
curses that are written in this book.'^ Your country is 
desolate, your cities are burnt with fire ; ^our land, 
strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, 
as overthrown by strangers. And the daughter of Zion 
is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden 
of cucumbers, as a besieged city. Except the Lord of 
hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should 

• Levit. xxvii. 18, 21, 24. 2 Levit. xxvi. 31--34-, 43. 

3 Deut. xxix. 23, 24, 27 


have been as Sodom, and we should have been like 
unto Gomorrah/ Ye shall be as an oak whose leaf 
fadeih, and as a garden that hath no water.^ I will lay 
my vineyard waste. Of a truth many houses shall be 
desolate, even great and fair, without inhabitant. Yea, 
ten acres oi vineyard shall yield one bath, and the seed 
of an homer shall yield an ephah. Then shall the lambs 
feed after their manner, and the waste places of the fat 
one shall strangers eat.^ Then said I, Lord, how long.? 
And he answered. Until the cities be wasted without in- 
habitant, and the houses without man, and the land be 
utterly desolate, and the Lord have removed men far 
away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the 
land. But yet in it shall be a tenth ; and it shall return 
and shall be eaten ; as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose 
substance is in them w^hen they cast their leaves.^ The 
Lord God of hosts shall make a consumption, even de- 
termined, in the midst of all the land.^ The glory of 
Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh 
shall wax lean: and it shall be as when the harvest-man 
gathereth the corn, and reapeth the ears with his arm ; 
and it shall be as he that gathereth ears in the valley of 
Rephaim. Yet gleaning-grapes shall be left in it, as the 
shaking of an olive-tree, two or three berries in the top 
of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outmost 
fruitful branches thereof, saith the Lord God of Israel.* 
Behold, the Lord maketh the earth^ (the land) empty, 

1 Isa. i. 7—9. 2 isa, i. 30. « Isa. v. 6, 9, 10, 17. 

'• Isa. vi. 11 — 13. * Isa. x. 23. ^ jga. xvii. 4—6. 

7 The twent5^-fourth chapter of Isaiah contains a continuous 
prophetic description (exactly analogous to other predictions) of 
the desolation of Judea, during the time that the " inhabitants 
thereof" were to be " scattered abroad ;" and it is only necessary, 
in order to prevent any appearance of ambiguity, to remark, that 
the very same word in the original, which in the English trans- 
lation is here rendered earth, is, in subsequent verses of the same 
chapter, also translated land; evidently implying the land of 
Israel, the inhabitants of which were to be "scattered abroad;" 
and so obviously is this the meaning of the word, that the chapter 
is properly entitled " the deplorable judgments of God upon the 

92 JUDEA. 


and maketh it waste, and tumeth it upside down, and 
scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. The land 
shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled : for the 
Lord hath spoken this word. The earth (land) moum- 
eth and fadeth away ; it is defiled under the inhabitants 
thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, 
changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting cove- 
nant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and 
they that dwell therein are desolate, and few men left. 
The new wine mourneth, the vine languisheth, all the 
merry-hearted do sigh. The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, 
the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp 
ceaseth. They shall not drink wine with a song ; strong 
drink shall be bitter to them that drink it. The city of 
confusion is broken down ; every house is shut up, that 
no man may come in. There is a crying for wine in the 
streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is 
gone. When thus it shall be in the midst of the land 
among the people, there shall be as the shaking of an 
olive tree, and as the gleaning-grapes when the vintage 
is done.* Yet the defenced city shall be desolate, and 
the habitation forsaken, and left like a wilderness: 
there shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down 
and consume the branches thereof. When the boughs 
thereof are withered, they shall be broken off*: the 
women come and set them on fire ; for it is a people of 
no understanding.^ Many days and years shall ye be 
troubled, ye careless women ; for the vintage shall fail, 
the gathering shall not come. Tremble, ye women that 
are at ease ; be troubled, ye careless ones ; strip you, 
and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins. 
They shall lament for the teats, for the pleasant fields, 
for the fruitful vine. Upon the land of my people shall 
come up thorns and briers ; yea, upon all the houses of 
joy in the joyous city ; because the palaces shall be for- 
saken, the multitude of the city shall be left ; the forts 
and towers shall be for dens for ever, a joy of wild 
asses, a pasture of flocks ; until the Spirit be poured 
' Isa. xxiv. 1, 3—11, 13. 2 Isa. xxvii. 10, 11. 

JUDEA. 93 

upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful 
field, and the fruitfril field be counted for a forest.* The 
highways lie waste, the wayfaring man ceaseth ; he hath 
broken the covenant, he hath despised the cities, he re- 
gardeth no man. The earth mourneth and languisheth ; 
Lebanon is ashamed and hewn down ; Sharon is like a 
wilderness ; and Bashan and Carmel shake off their 
fruits.* Destruction upon destruction is cried ; for the 
whole land is spoiled. I beheld, and lo, the fruitful 
place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were 
broken down at the presence of the Lord. For thus 
hath the Lord said. The whole land shall be desolate ; 
yet will I not make a full end. For this shall the earth 
mourn, — because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, 
and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.^ 
How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of every 
field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell 
therein ? I have forsaken mine house, I have lefl mine 
heritage. Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, 
they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made 
my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. They have 
made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto me ; 
the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth 
it to heart. The spoilers are come upon all high places 
through the wilderness ; — no flesh shall have peace. 
They have sown wheat, but shall reap thorns ; they 
have put themselves to pain, but shall not profit ; and 
they shall be ashamed of your revenues, because of the 
fierce anger of the Lord.* Thus saith the Lord God 
to the mountains of Israel, and to the hills, to the rivers, 
and to the valleys. Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword 
upon you, and I will destroy your high places. In all 
your dwelling-places the cities shall be laid waste, and 
the high places shall be desolate, that your altars may be 
laid waste and made desolate. I will stretch out my 
hand upon them, and make the land more desolate than 
the wilderness towards Diblath, in all their habitations.* 

' Isa. xxxii. 10—15. 2 isa. xxxiii. 8, 9. 

3 Jer. iv. 20, 26—28. "■ Jer. xii. 4,7, 10—13. 

5 Ezek. vi. 3, 6, 14. 

94 JUDEA. 

I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall pos- 
sess their houses: I will also make tlie pomp of the 
strong to cease ; and their holy places shall be defiled. 
Say unto the people of the land, Thus saith the Lord 
God of the inhabitants of Jerusalem and of the land of 
Israel, They shall eat their bread with carefulness, and 
drink their water with astonishjnent, that her land may 
be desolate from all that is therein, because of the vio- 
lence of all them that dwell therein. Every one that 
passe th thereby shall be astonished.* Hear this, all ye 
inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, 
or even in the days of your fathers? Tell ye your 
children of it, and let your children tell their children, 
and their children another generation. That which the 
palmer- worm hath left hath tjie locusts eaten ; and that 
which the locust hath left hath the canker-worm eaten ; 
and that which the canker-worm hath left hath the 
caterpillar eaten. The field is wasted, the land moum- 
eth, and joy is withered away from the sons of men. 
And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath 
eaten, the canker-worm, and the caterpillar, and the 
palmer-worm. And my people shall never be ashamed." 
The city that went out by a thousand shall leave an 
hundred, and that which went forth by an hundred shall 
leave ten, to the house of Israel. Seek not Bethel ; 
Bethel shall come to nought.^ Behold, I will set a 
plumb-line in the midst of my people Israel : I will not 
again pass by them any more. And the high places of 
Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shkll 
be laid waste.** I will make Samaria as an heap of the 
field, and as plantings of a vineyard ; and I will pour 
down the stones thereof into the valley, and I will dis- 
cover the foundations thereof."^ 

Numerous and clear as these denunciations are, yet 
such was the long-suffering patience of God, and such 
the rebellious spirit of the Israelites of old, that it had 

1 Ezek. vii. 24, xii. 19; Jer. xix. 8. 

2 Joel i. 2—4, 10, 12, ii. 25, 26. ^ Amos v. 3, 6. 
< Amos vii. 8, 9. * Micah i. 6. 


become a proverb in the land, " the days are prolonged, 
and every vision faileth." But though that proverb 
ceased when great calamities did overtake them, and a 
temporary desolation came over their land, yet the curses 
denounced against it were not obliterated by a partial 
and transient fulfilment, but, on the renewed and unre- 
pented wickedness of the people, fell upon them and 
their land with stricter truth, and, as foretold, with seven- 
fold severity. 

Moses and all the prophets set blessings and curses 
before the Israelites, with the avowed purpose that they 
might choose between them. But while the prophetical 
writings abound with warnings, the scriptural records of 
Israelitish history show how greatly these warnings were 
disregarded. The word of God, which is a perfect work, 
abideth for ever : and it returns not to him void, but 
fulfils the purpose for which he sent it. And after the 
statutes and judgments of the Lord had been set before 
the Israelites for the space of a thousand years from the 
time that they were first declared, the " burden of the 
word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi," instead of 
speaking, even then, of repealed judgments, closes the 
Jewish Scriptures with this last command, " Remember 
ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded 
unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and 
judgments ;"^ and, affixed to the command to remem- 
ber these, the very last words of the Old Testament, 
which seal up the vision and the prophecies, plainly 
indicate, that however long the God of Israel might 
bear with the Jews for transgressing the law, while the 
law only was given them, yet on their refusal to repent 
when the prophet, who was to be " the messenger of the 
Lord," would be sent unto them^ the Lord would come 
and "smite the earth (or the land) with a curse." 

The term of the continuance of these judgments, and 
of their full completion, is distinctly marked, as com- 
mensurate with the dispersion of the Jews, and termi- 
nating with their final restoration. So long as they be 
' Mai. iv. 4. 


in their enemies' land, their own land lieth desolate. 
The judgments were not to be removed from it " until 
the Spirit be poured (upon the Jews) from on high, and 
the wilderness be a fruitful field."' And the prophecies 
not only portray Judea while forsaken of the Lord, his 
heritage left, and given into the hands of its enemies, 
but they also delineate the character and condition of the 
dwellers therein, while its ancient inhabitants were to be 
scattered abroad, and ere the time come when he shall 
reign in Jerusalem before his ancients gloriously." An- 
nunciations of a future and final restoration, almost uni- 
formly accompany the curses denounced against the 
land. And frequent, and express as words can be, are 
the references throughout the prophecies to the period 
yet to come,'^when the children of Israel shall be gathered 
out of all nations, and when the land then, at last and 
for ever, brought back from desolation, and the cities, 
repaired after the desolations of many generations, and 
the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste, 
shall be no more desolate, nor the people termed for- 
saken any more.' After the Messiah was to be cut off, 
and the sacrifice and oblation to cease, the ensuing deso- 
lations were to reach even to the consumTnation, and till 
that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.* 
And Jerusalem, as Jesus hath declared, shall be trodden 
down of the gentiles, till the times of the gentiles be 

Neither the dispersion of the Jews nor the desolation 
of Judea is to cease, according to the prophecies, till 
other evidence shall thereby be given of prophetic in- 
spiration. The application to the present period, or to 
modern times, of the prophecies relative to the desola- 
tion of Judea, is thus abundantly manifest. And the 
more numerous they are, so much the more severe is the 
test which they abide. Anc while the Jews are not yet 
gathered from all the nations nor planted in their own 

' Isa. xxxii. 15. 2 isa. xxiv. 1, 23. 

3 Isa. Ixi. 4 ; Ezek. xxxvi. 8, 10, xxxv v 21, xxxviii. 8 ; Isa, Ixii. 4. 

< Dan. ix. 27. ^ Luke xxi. 24. 

JUDEA. 97 

land to be no more pulled out of it ;* nor its destroyers 
and they that laid it waste, gone forth from it f nor the 
old waste places built, nor the foundations of many 
generations raised up, nor the land brought back from 
desolation,^ — the effect of every vision is still to be 
seen, and even now, at this late period of the times of 
the gentiles, though the blessed consummation may not 
be very distant, there is abundant evidence to complete 
the proof that that which was determined has been 
poured upon the desolate, and that all the curses that 
are written in the book of the Lord have been brought 
upon the land.** 

The devastation of Judea is so " astonishing," and 
its poverty as a country so remarkable, that, forgetful 
of the prophecies respecting it, and in the rashness of 
their zeal, infidels have attempted to draw an argument 
from thence against the truth of Christianity, by denying 
the possibility of the existence of so numerous a popula- 
tion as can accord with scriptural history, and by repre- 
senting it as a region singularly unproductive and irre- 
claimable/ But though they have voluntarily aban- 

^ Amos ix. 14, 15. 2 Isa. xlix. 17. 

3 Isa. Iviii. 12. " Deut. xxix. 27. 

5 Voltaire, without adducing any authority whatever in support 
of his assertion, and without expressly declaring that, in lieu of 
such evidence, he was gifted with an intuitive knowledge of the 
historical and geographical fact, — speaks of the ancient state of 
Palestine with derision, describes it as one of the worst countries 
of Asia; likens it to Switzerland, and says that it can only be 
esteemed fertile when compared with the desert. (Bp. Newton.) 
"La Palestine n'etait que ce qu'elle est aujourd'hui, un des plus 
mauvais pays de I'Asie. Cette petite province," &c. (CEuvres de 
Voltaire, torn, xxvii. p. 107.) Without citing, on the other hand, 
the ample evidence of Josephus and of Jerome, both of whom 
were inhabitants of Judea, and more adequate judges of the fact, 
the following testimony to the great fertility of that country, not 
being chargeable with the partiality which might be attached to 
the opinion either of a Christian or of a Jew, maybe given in answer 
to the groundless assertion of Voltaire ; testimony which ought to 
have been better known and appreciated even by that high priest 
of modern infidelity, if the sacrifice of truth on the altar of wit 
had not been too common an act of his devotion to the chief god 
of his idolatry. " Corpora hominum salubria et ferentia laborum ; 

98 JUDEA. 

doned this indefensible assumption, they have left to 
the believer the fruits of their concession ; they have 
given the most unsuspicious testimony to the confirma- 
tion of the prophecies, and have served to establish the 
cause which they sought to ruin. The evidence of 
ancient authors; the fertility of the soil wherever a 
single spot can be cultivated ; tjie remains of vegetable 
mould piled, by artificial means, upon the sides of the 
mountains, which may have clothed them with a richer 
and more frequent harvest than the most fertile vale; 
and the multitude of the ruins of cities that now cover 
the extensive but uncultivated and desert plains, bear 
witness that there was a numerous and condensed popu- 
lation in a country flowing with food ; and that, if any 
history recorded its greatness, or any prophecies revealed 
its desolation, they have both been amply verified. 

The acknowledgments of Volney, and the description 
which he gives from personal observation, are sufficient 
to confute entirely the gratuitous assumptions and insi- 
dious sarcasms of Voltaire : and, wonderful as it may 
appear, copious extracts may be drawn from that writer, 
whose unwitting or unwilling testimony is as powerful 
an attestation of the completion of many prophecies, 
when he relates facts of which he was an eye-witness, 
as his untried theories, his ideal perfectibility of human 
nature, if released from the restraints of religion, and 
his perverted views both of the nature and effects of 
Christianity, have proved greatly instrumental in sub- 
verting the faith of many, who, unguarded by any posi- 

rari imbres, uber solum. Exuberant fruges nostrum ad morem ; 
prtBterque eas balsamum et palmce. — Magna pars Judaeae vicis disper- 
gitur; habent et oppida. Hiersolyma genti caput. lUic immensse 
opulentioe templum, et primis munimentis urbs." (Taciti Hist. lib. 
V. cap. vi. viii. Rel. Pales.) " Ultima Syriarum est Palsestina, per 
intervalla magna protenta, cultis abundans terris et nitidis, et 
civitates habens quasdam egregias, nuUam sibi cedentem, sed 
sibi vicissim velut ad perpendiculum aemulas." (Ammianus Mar- 
cellinus, lib. xiv. cap. viii. § 11, ibid.) "Nee sane viris, opibus, 
armis quicquam copiosius Syria." (Flori Hist. lib. ii. cap. viii. 
§ 4.) " Syria in hortis operosissima est. Indeque proverbium 
Grsecis, Multa Syrorum olera." (Plinii Hist. Nat. lib. xx. cap. v.) 

JUDEA. 99 

tive evidence, gave heed to such seductive doctrines. 
There needs not to be any better witness of facts con- 
firmatory of the prophecies, and in so far conclusive 
against all his speculations, than Volney himself. Of the 
natural fertility of the country, and of its abounding 
population in ancient times, he gives the most decisive 
evidence. " Syria unites different climates under the 
same sky, and collects within a small compass pleasures 
and productions which nature has elsewhere dispersed 
at great distances of time and place. To this advantage, 
which perpetuates enjoyments by their succession, it 
adds another, that of multiplying them by the variety of 

its productions With its numerous advantages of 

climate and soil, it is not astonishing that Syria should 
always have been esteemed a most delicious country, 
and that the Greeks and Romans ranked it among the 
most beautiful of their provinces, and even thought it 
not inferior to Egypt. "^ After having assigned several 
just and sufficient reasons to account for the large popu- 
lation of Judea in ancient times, in contradiction to those 
who were skeptical of the fact, he adds : " Admitting 
only what is conformable to experience and nature, 
there is nothing to contradict the great population of 
high antiquity. Without appealing to the positive testi- 
mony of history, there are innumerable monuments 
which depose in favour of the fact. Such are the pro- 
digious quantity of ruins dispersed over the plains, and 
even in the mountains, at this day deserted. On the 
remote parts of Cannel are found wild vines and olive 
trees, which must have been conveyed thither by the 
hand of man : and in the Lebanon of the Druses and 
Maronites, the rocks, now abandoned to fir trees and 
brambles, present us in a thousand places wdth terraces, 
which prove that they were anciently better cultivated, 
and consequently much more populous than in our 

• Volney's Travels in Egypt and Syria, vol. i. pp. 316, 321 
English translation, Lond. 1787. 

2 Volney's Travels in Egypt and Syria, vol. ii. p. 368. 

100 JUDEA. 

" Syria," says Gibbon, " one of the countries that 
have been improved by the most early cultivation, is not 
unworthy of the preference. The heat of the climate is 
tempered by the vicinity of the sea and mountains, by 
the plenty of wood and water ; and the produce of a 
fertile soil affords the subsistence and encourages the 
propagation of men and animals. From the age of 
David to that of Heraclius the country was overspread 
with ancient and flourishing cities ; the inhabitants were 
numerous and wealthy." Such evidence has merely 
been selected as the most unsuspicious, though that of 
many others might also be adduced. The country in the 
immediate vicinity of Jerusalem is indeed rocky, as 
Strabo represents it, and apparently sterile, and is now, 
in general, perfectly barren : ^' but even the sides of the 
most barren mountains in the neighbourhood of Jerusa- 
lem had been rendered fertile, by being divided into 
terraces, Hke steps rising one above another, where soil 
has been accumulated with astonishing labour."* " In 
any part of Judea," Dr. Clarke adds, " the effects of a 
beneficial change of government are soon witnessed, in 
the conversion of desolated plains into fertile fields. 
Under a wise and beneficent government, the produce 
of the Holy Land would exceed all calculation. Its 
perennial harvest, the salubrity of its air, its limpid 
springs, its rivers, lakes, and matchless plains, its hills 
and vales, all these, added to the serenity of the climate, 
prove this to be indeed a field which the Lord hath 
blessed."* But the facts of the former fertility, as well 
as of the present desolation of Judea, are established 
beyond contradiction ; and, in attempting in this respect 
to invalidate the truth of sacred history, infidels have 
either been driven, or have reluctantly retired, from the 
defenceless ground which they themselves had once 
assumed, and have given room whereon to rest an argu- 

' Clarke's Travels, vol. ii. p. 520. General Straton describes 
ihese terraces as resembling the gradus of a theatre, and particu- 
larly marked them as vestiges of ancient "luxuriance." 

3 Clarke's Travels, vol. ii. p. 521. 

JUDEA. 101 

ment against their want of faith as well as of veracity. 
For, in conclusion of this matter, it surely may, without 
any infringement of truth or justice, be remarked, that 
the extent of the present and long-fixed desolation, the 
very allegation on which they would discredit the scrip- 
tural narrative of the ancient glory of Judea, being itself 
a clearly predicted truth, then the greater the difficulty 
of reconciling the knowledge of what it was to the fact 
of what it is, and the greater the difficulty of believing 
the possibihty of so " astonishing" a contrast, the more 
wonderful are the prophecies which revealed it all, the 
more completely are they accredited as a voice from 
heaven, and the argument of the infidel leads the more 
directly to proof against himself. Such is " the positive 
testimony of history," and such the subsisting proofs of 
the former grandeur and fertility of Palestine, that we 
are now left, without a cavil, to the calm investigation 
of the change in that country from one extreme to an- 
other, and of the consonance of that change with the 
dictates of prophecy. 

Having recently visited the land of Judea, the writer 
may confidently affirm that it sets before the eyes of every 
beholder, who knows the Bible, and can exercise his 
reason, a threefold illustration of the truth of Scripture, 
in respect to its past, present, and yet destined state. It 
not only presents to view the scenes of scriptural history, 
often recognisable to this hour as the places of which the 
sacred penmen wrote, and where events were transacted, 
the knowledge of which shall ever be the common pro- 
perty of man ; but it exhibits, even among the barren 
but terraced mountains of Israel, such proofs of ancient 
cultivation, as show to a demonstration, that the ancient 
fertility and glory of the land were not inferior to what 
Scripture represents. Looking on it as it is, the whole 
land now bears the burden of the word of the Lord. 
And yet it shows as clearly, whenever that burden shall 
be removed, and the Lord shall in mercy remember the 
land, that it yet retains the capabiHty, as if it had never 
been laid waste, of blooming forth anew in all its beauty, 

102 JUDEA. 

and bearing its fruits in all their profiision, till its moun- 
tains and plains be again clothed with as rich and varied 
a produce as any land on earth can yield. 

To that consummation of all their predictions con- 
cerning it, the prophets ever looked. The people that 
have been scattered throughout the world shall finally be 
brought back to the land of their fathers, to be no more 
plucked out of it for ever. And the fruitfulness of the 
land of Canaan, long dormant, but never dead, shall re- 
appear in its glory, when the wilderness shall be turned 
into a fruitful field, and there shall be no more desolation. 
But notwithstanding the blasphemies that have been 
spoken against the mountains of Israel, no man who has 
stood in 3ie midst of them could fail to see that they lie 
desolate as smitten with a curse, and that they shall be 
desolate no more when that judgment shall be taken 
away. Many prophetic songs of rejoicing and praise 
await the time when the wilderness and the solitary place 
shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and 
blossom as the rose, and the terraced mountains of Israel 
shall be planted anew by the hands of Israel's children, 
and bear the shame of the heathen no more. Prophecy 
unto the mountains of Israel, and say, Ye mountains of 
Israel, because they have made' you desolate, and ye are 
taken up in the lips of talkers, and ye are an infamy of 
the people: therefore, ye mountains of Israel, hear the 
words of the Lord God ; Thus saith the word of the 
Lord to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and 
to the valleys, to the desolate wastes, and to the cities that 
are forsaken, which became a prey and derision to the 
residue of the heathen that are round about, 8^c. Ye, 
mountains of Israel, shall yield your fruit to my people 
Israel. And I vnll settle you after your old estates, and 
will do better unto you than at your beginnings ; neither 
will I cause men to hear in thee the shame of the heathen 
any more ; neither shall thou bear the reproach of the people 
any more. Ezek. xxxvi. 1 — 15. The mockery of mis- 
judging scoffers, and the blasphemies from the lips of 
talkers, uttered in purposed refutation of the truth of the 

JUDEA. 103 

word of God, are turned into a testimony against them- 
selves. And while the extent of the predicted desola- 
tion shows how wonderful their realization has been, 
another reversal of the fate of Judea is yet reserved and 
destined to show, in obvious application to events yet to 
come, how mercy rejoiceth over judgment ; how truth, 
even in things opposite to each other, when rightly dis- 
cerned, is ever triumphant ; and how the lips of profane 
talkers, having tendered their testimony, shall be silent 
for ever, and the mountains of Israel be neither a deri- 
sion nor a reproach any more. 

Under any regular and permanent government, a region 
so favoured by climate, so diversified in surface, so rich 
in soil, and which had been so luxuriant for ages, would 
naturally have resumed its opulence and power ; and its 
permanent desolation, alike contradictory to every sug- 
gestion of experience and of reason, must have been 
altogether inconceivable by man. But the land was to 
he overthrown by strangers, to be trodden down ; mischief 
was to come upon mischief, and destruction upon destruc- 
tion, and the land was to be desolate. The Chaldeans 
devastated Judea, and led the inhabitants into temporary 
captivity. The kings of Syria and Egypt, by their ex- 
tortions and oppression, impoverished the country. The 
Romans held it long in subjection to their iron yoke. 
And the Persians contended for the possession of it. 
But in succeeding ages, still greater destroyers than any 
of the former appeared upon the scene to perfect the 
work of devastation. " In the year 622 (636) the Ara- 
bian tribes collected under the banners of Mahomet, 
seized, or rather laid it waste. Since that period, torn 
to pieces by the civil wars of the Fatimites and the Om- 
miades; wrested from the califs by their rebellious 
governors ; taken from them by the Turcoman soldiery ; 
invaded by the European Crusaders ; retaken by the 
Mamelouks of Egypt, and ravaged by Tamerlane and 
his Tartars, it has at length fallen into the hands of the 
Ottoman Turks. "^ It has been overthrown by strangers ^ 
' Volney's Travels, vol. i. p. 367. 

104 JUDEA. 

trodden under foot: destruction has come upon destruc- 

The cities were to he laid waste. By the concurring 
testimony of all travellers, Judea may now be called a 
field of ruins. Columns, the memorials of ancient mag- 
nificence, now covered with rubbish, and buried under 
ru\ns, may be found in all Syria. ^ From Mount Tabor 
is beheld an immensity of plains, interspersed with ham- 
lets, fortresses, and heaps of ruins. The buildings on 
that mountain were destroyed and laid waste by the 
sultan of Egypt in 1290, and the accumulated vestiges 
of successive forts and ruins are now mingled in one 
common and extensive desolation.^ Of the celebrated 
cities Capernaum, Bethsaida, Gadara, Tarichea, and 
Chorazin, nothing remains but shapeless ruins.^ Some 
vestiges of Emmaus may still be seen. Cana is a very 
paltry village. The ruins of Tekoa present only the 
foundations of some considerable buildings." The city 
of Nain is now a hamlet. The ruins of the ancient 
Sapphura announce the previous existence of a large 
city ; and its name is still preserved in the appellation 
of a miserable village called Sephoury.* Loudd (the 
ancient Lydda) and Diospolis appear like a place lately 
ravaged by fire and sword, and are one continued heap 
of rubbish and ruins.^ Ramla, the ancient Arimathea, 
is in almost as ruinous a state. Nothing but rubbish is 
to be found within its boundaries. In the adjacent 
country there are found at every step dry wells, cisterns 
fallen in, and vast vaulted reservoirs, which prove that 
in ancient times this town must have been upwards of a 
league and a half in circumference.^ Csesarea can no 
longer excite the envy of a conqueror, and has long 

' Mariti's Travels, vol. ii. p. 141. 

2 Buckingham's Travels in Palestine, p. 107; Marili's Travels, 
vol. ii. p. 177. 

3 Ibid. Wilson's Travels, p. 237. 

< Macmichael's Journey to Constantinople, p. 196. 
« Clarke's Travels, vol. ii. p. 401. 

6 Volney's Travels, vol. ii. pp. 332—334. 

7 Ibid. vol. ii. p. 334. 



been abandoned to silent desolation.^ The city of Tibe- 
rias is now almost abandoned, and its subsistence pre- 
carious ; of the towns that bordered on its lake there 
are no traces left.^ Zabulon, once the rival of Tyre 
and Sidon, is a heap of ruins. A few shapeless stones, 
unworthy the attention of the traveller, mark the site of 
the Saffre.^ The ruins of Jericho, covering no less than 
a square mile, are surrounded with complete desolation ; 
and there is not a tree of any description, either of palm 
or balsam, and scarcely any verdure or bushes to be 
seen about the site of this abandoned city.'' Bethel has 
come to nought. The ruins of Sarepta, and of several 
large cities in its vicinity, are now " mere rubbish, and 
are only distinguishable as the sites of towns by heaps 
of dilapidated stones and fragments of columns."^ But 
at Dj crash (supposed to be the ruins of Gerasa) are the 
magnificent remains of a splendid city. The form of 
streets, once lined with a double row of columns, and 
covered with pavement still nearly entire, in which are 
the mark of the chariot wheels, and on each side of 
which is an elevated pathway ; two theatres, and two 
grand temples, built of marble, and others of inferior 
note ; baths ; a bridge ; a cemetery, with many sarco- 
phagi, which surrounded the city ; a triumphal arch ; a 
large cistern ; a picturesque tomb fronted with columns, 
and an aqueduct overgrown with wood ; and upwards 
of two hundred and thirty columns still standing amidst 
deserted ruins without a city to adorn : all combine in 
presenting to the view of the traveller, in the estimation 
of those who were successively eye-witnesses of them 
both, " a much finer mass of ruins" than even that of 
the boasted Palmyra.^ But how marvellously are the 

1 Captain Light's Travels, p. 204 ; Buckingham's Travels, p. 

2 Captain Light's Travels, p. 204. 

3 Mariti's Travels, vol. ii. pp. 158—169. 

* Buckingham's Travels, p. 300. 

* Captains Irby and Mangles's Travels, p. 199. 
6 Irby and Mangles's Travels, pp. 317, 318. 

The ruins of Djerash were first discovered by Seetzen, in 1806. 

106 JtDEA. 

predictions of their desolation verified, when, in general, 
nothing but ruins form the most distinguished rem- 
nants of the cities of Israel ; and when the multitude 
of its towns are almost all left, with many a vestige to 
testify of their number, but without a mark to tell their 

And your land shall he desolate^ and your cities waste. 
Then shall the land enjoy her Sabbaths as long as it lieth 
desolate, and ye be in your enemies^ land : even then shall 
the land rest, and enjoy her Sabbaths, &c. A single 
reference to the Mosaic law respecting the Sabbatical 
year, renders the full import of this prediction perfectly 
mtelligible and obvious. "But in the seventh year 
shall be a Sabbath of rest unto the land ; thou shalt 
neither sow thy field nor prune thy vineyard." And 
the land of Judea hath even thus enjoyed its Sabbaths 
so long as it hath lain desolate. In that country, where 
every spot was cultivated like a garden by its patrimo- 
nial possessor, where every little hill rejoiced in its 
abundance, where every steep acclivity was terraced by 
the labour of man, and where the very rocks were 
covered with thick mould, and rendered fertile ; even 
in that self-same land, with a temperature the same,* 
and with a soil unchanged save only by neglect, a dire 
contrast is now and has for a lengthened period of time 
been displayed by fields untitled and unsown, and by 
waste and desolated plains. Never since the expatriated 
descendants of Abraham were driven from its borders, has 
the land of Canaan been so "plenteous in goods," or so 
abundant in population as once it was ; never, as it did 
for ages unto them, has it vindicated to any other people 
a right to its possession, or its own title of the land of 

They have since been visited by Sheikh Ibrahim (Burckhardt,) 
Sir William Chatterton, Mr. Bankes, the Hon. Captain Irby, Cap- 
tain Mangles, Mr. Legh, Mr. Leslie, and Mr. Buckingham. Both 
Burckhardt and Mr. Buckingham have also given a description 
of them. Many of the edifices were built long after the period 
of the prediction ; yet they are not excluded from the sentence 
of desolation. 

' See Brewster's Philosophical Journal, No. xvi. p. 227. 

JUDEA. 107 

promise; it has rested from century to century; and while 
that marked, and stricken, and scattered race, who pos- 
sess the recorded promise of the God of Israel as their char- 
ter to its final and everlasting possession, still " be in the 
land of their enemies, so long their land lieth desolate.'^'' 
There may thus almost be said to be the semblance of 
a sympathetic feeling between this bereaved country 
and banished people, as if the land of Israel felt the 
miseries of its absent children, awaited their return, and 
responded to the undying love they bear it, by the re- 
fusal to yield to other possessors the rich harvest of those 
fruits with which, in the days of their allegiance to the 
Most High, it abundantly blessed them. And striking 
and peculiar, without the shadow of even a semblance 
upon earth, as is this accordance between the fate of 
Judea and of the Jews, it assimilates as closely (and, 
may we not add, as miraculously?) to those predictions 
respecting both, which Moses uttered and recorded ere 
the tribes of Israel had ever set a foot in Canaan. The 
land shall he left of them, and shall enjoy her rest while 
she lieth desolate without them. 

To the desolate state of Judea every traveller bears 
witness. The prophetic malediction was addressed to 
the mountains and the hills, to the rivers and to the val- 
leys ; and the beauty of them all has been blighted. 
Where the inhabitants once dwelt in peace, each under 
his own vine, and under his own fig tree, the tyranny 
of the Turks, and the perpetual incursions of the Arabs, 
the last of a long list of oppressors, have spread one 
wide field of almost unmingled desolation. The plain 
of Esdraelon, naturally most fertile, its soil consisting 
of " fine, rich, black mould," bounded by Mount Her- 
mon, Carmel, and Mount Tabor,* and so extensive as to 
cover about three hundred square miles, is a solitude,^ 
almost entirely deserted ; the country is a complete de- 
sert.^ In the valley of Canaan, formerly a beautiful, 

1 General Straton's MS. Travels. 

2 Clarke's Travels, vol. ii. p. 497 ; Maundrell's Travels, p. 95. 
» Burckhardt's Travels in Syria, pp. 334, 343. 

108 JUDEA. 

delicious, and fertile valley, there is not a mark or ves- 
tige of cultivation.* The country is continually overrun 
with rebel tribes ; the Arabs pasture their cattle upon 
the spontaneous produce of the rich plains with which 
it abounds.'' Every ancient landmark is removed. " The 
art of cultivation," says Volney, " is in the most deplor- 
aye state, and the countryman must sow with tht 
musket in his hand ; and no more is sown than is neces- 
sary for subsistence." " Every day I found fields 
abandoned by the plough."^ In describing his journey 
through Galilee, Dr. Clarke remarks, that the earth was 
covered with such a variety of thistles, that a complete 
collection of them would be a valuable acquisition to 
botany.* Six new species of that plant, so significant 
of wildness, were discovered by himself in a scanty 
selection. "From Kane-Leban to Beer, amidst the 
ruins of cities, the country, as far as the eye of the tra- 
veller can reach, presents nothing to his view but naked 
rocks, mountains, and precipices, at the sight of which 
pilgrims are astonished, balked in their expectations, and 
almost starded in their faith. "^ From the centre of the 
neighbouring elevations (around Jerusalem) is seen a 
wild, rugged, and mountainous desert ; no herds depas- 
turing on the summit, no forests clothing the acclivities, 
no waters flowing through the valleys ; but one rude 
scene of savage, melancholy waste, in the midst of which 
the ancient glory of Judea bows her head in widowed 
desolation. "« It is needless to multiply quotations to 
prove the desolation of a country which the Turks have 
possessed, and which the Arabs have plundered for ages. 
Enough has been said to prove that the land mourns 
and is laid waste, and has become as a desolate wilderness. 
While eye-witnesses in modern times have thus borne 
ample, uniform, and decisive testimony to the desolation 

1 General Straton's MS. 

2 Clarke's Travels, vol. ii. pp. 484, 491. 

• Volney's Travels, vol. ii. p. 413; Volney's Ruins, c. xi. p. 7. 

* Clarke's Travels, vol. ii. p. 451. 

« Maundrell's Travels, p. 168. Bp. Newton. 
6 JoUiflfe's Letters from Palestine, vol. i. p. 104. 

JUDEA; 109 

of Judea, yet such is the natural fertility of the land, 
that a temporary respite from predatory assaults, even 
under the penalty of grievous exactions and oppressive 
bondage, leads, on the part of the miserable peasantry, 
to a more extended though not improved cultivation of 
the lands which environ their miserable villages ; and, 
as described by separate travellers at different times, the 
same spot may assume a somewhat varied aspect. But 
the general desolation abides unchanged ; every pro- 
phetic characteristic remains ; and each place, when 
named, preserves its peculiar prophetic features. About 
a sixth part of the plain of Sharon, and about a sixteenth 
of the far larger plain of Esdraelon is scratched by the 
plough. The cultivation is everywhere wretched. And 
though an extensive range of ripened grain may in some 
places present to view, as witnessed by the writer, a 
seemingly rich prospect, which, on glancing over its 
golden surface at a distance, the yellow ears overtopping 
the weeds, gives promise of a rich harvest ; yet not a 
single shock, as in our less fertile soil and far colder 
clime, falls heavy into the hands of the reaper. For on 
closer inspection the ranker weeds are but ill concealed ; 
the grain is p^uced to less than half of what it seemed : 
and not unfw^^tly, whenever the cropped ears of the 
thin barley have been removed, a field of thistles appears 
in their stead, covering the ground so closely, that they 
form the most abundant and seem the only crop. 

But specially of the mountains of Israel it may be said, 
that they have been always desolate ; and they specially 
have been a derision. At first sight they seem to merit 
it. They are bleak and bare. Their aspect, as they 
rise naked from the plain, is that of dreary desolation, if 
not of irreclaimable barrenness. The marvel is that 
they should ever have formed a large portion of a glo- 
rious land, or that those hills should have rejoiced on 
every or on any side, on which a solemn stillness and 
gloomy sadness now universally rest. The Christian or 
the pilgrim Jew may well ask himself, in doubt, Can 
these be the mountains of Israel } And the skeptic may 

110 JUDEA. 

deceitfully think to justify himself in the avennent, 
apparently warranted by pointing to the desolate hills of 
Judea, if such was the seat of the glory of Solomon, 
surely the record of that glory is a fable. Assuredly the 
land has another and opposite aspect and character now 
from that which it bore, when it was a good land; a 
lund of wheat, and barley , and vines, and Jig trees, and 
pomegranates ; a land of oil-olive and honey ; a land 
wherein Israel ate bread wit/wut scarceness, and lacked 
not any thing. Deut. viii. 7 — 9. The contrast is so 
great and dire, that some visible demonstration may be 
needful to sustain a faltering faith, and refute an ap- 
parently rational incredulity. But the unquestioned and 
unquestionable fact is, as predicted, that the mountains 
of Israel are waste and desolate. And the more nearly 
they are seen, the more manifest is the proof, and the 
more astonishing is the fact, that so marvellous a deso- 
lation has come over them. Approaching their base, 
the prospect becomes more saddening ; and, looking 
from beneath, nothing in many places but the stony fronts 
of the empty terraces, successively receding and ascend- 
ing, is to be seen, desolation having trodden on every 
step. And the frowning mountains look down on those 
who pass beneath, as if they angrily responded to the 
reproaches which have been cast upon them, and uttered 
forth the judgments which they bear. Still nothing can 
be more palpably manifest, than that the mountains have 
been laid desolate, and that the time was, when art, and 
climate, and soil combined their utmost powers to adorn 
and enrich them as a garden which the Lord had blessed. 
And with a glance the wonder ceases, how they were 
of old renowned for beauty and fertility ; and the more 
just astonishment cannot be repressed, how such exten- 
sive regions, terraced all over, and ever ready for re- 
newed cultivation, could have lain desolate for so many 
generations, or how, were the restraining cause removed, 
they could remain unproductive for a single year. As- 
cending on the way from Gaza to Jerusalem, between 
two hills, so as to pass by the lowest level, the writer 



counted on one of them sixty-seven successive terraces, 
perfectly distinct, and in many places complete. The 
whole scene around, in an extensive view, gave similar 
demonstration of ancient glory and existing desolation, 
the extreme contrast rendering each the more astonishing. 
Mountain after mountain, without exception, is lined 
throughout, from the base to the summit, with terraces 
fading only in the distance, all uncovered now but by 
weeds and creeping thorns, which rise not enough to 
hide the stony fronts which of old were cut from the 
rock, or built by man, to clothe the mountains with 
vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates, and olives, ^nd 
other fruit»f of which, but in isolated spots hid from the 
general view, not a vestige remains. 

C arm el was renowned, even among the mountains of 
Israel, for its excellency, as denoted by its very name, a 
fruitful field. Such was its fruitfulness, and so close the 
thickets on its top, that, as most forcibly indicating the 
impossibility of the escape of any from the judgments 
of God, it is said. Though they dig into hell, thence 
shall my hand take them; though they climb up to 
heaven, thence will I bring them down ; and though 
they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search 
and take them out thence, &c. Amos ix. 2, 3. Yet the 
same prophet declared, The top of Carmel shall wither.'*- 
And it is withered, so that no man could hide himself 
there : and on looking along its top, a solitary individual 
may be seen as far as the eye, in an unobstructed view, 
can reach to discern him. Bashan and Carmel shake 
off their fruits ; — but Israel shall yet feed on Carmel 
and Bashan. 

But yet in it shall he a tenth, and it shall return and 
shall he eaten ; as a teil tree and an oak, whose substance 
is in them when they cast their leaves. Though the cities 
be waste and the land be desolate, it is not from the 
poverty of the soil that the fields are abandoned by the 
plough, nor from any diminution of its ancient and na- 
tural fertility that the land has rested for so many gene- 
' Amos i. 2. 

112 JUDEA. 

rations. Judea was not forced only by artificial means, 
or from local £md temporary causes, into a luxuriant cul- 
tivation, such as a barren country might have been, con- 
cerning -which it would not have needed a prophet to 
tell, that if once devastated and abandoned it would ul- 
timately and permanently revert into its original sterility. 
Palestine at all times held a fac different rank among the 
richest countries of the world ; and it was not a bleak 
and sterile portion of the earth, nor a land which even 
many ages of desolation and neglect could impoverish, 
that God gave, in possession and by covenant, to the 
seed of Abraham. No longer cultivated as a garden, 
but left like a wilderness, Judea is indeed greatly changed 
from what it was ; all that human ingenuity and labour 
did devise, erect, or cultivate, men have laid waste and 
desolate ; all the " plenteous goods," with which it was 
enriched, adorned, and blessed, have fallen like seared 
and withered leaves, when their greenness is gone ; and, 
stripped of its " ancient splendour," it is left as an oak 
whose leaf fadeth : but its inherent sources of fertility 
are not dried up ; the natural richness of the soil is un- 
blighted ; tlie substance is in itj strong as that of the 
teil tree or the solid oak, which retain their substance, 
when they cast their leaves. And as the leafless oak 
waits throughout winter for the genial warmth of return- 
ing spring, to be clothed with renewed foliage, so the 
once glorious land of Judea is yet full of latent vigour, 
or of vegetable power strong as ever, ready to shoot 
forth, even "better than at the beginning," whenever 
the sun of heaven shall shine on it again, and the " holy 
seed " be prepared for being finally " the substance 
thereof." The substance that is in it, which alone has 
here to be proved, is, in few words, thus described by 
an enemy : " The land in the plains is fat and loamy, 

and exhibits every sign ol the greatest fecundity 

Were nature assisted by art, the fruits of the most distant 

countries might be produced within the distance of 

twenty leagues."* " Galilee," says Malte-Brun, " would 

' Volney's Travels, vol. i. pp. 308, 317. 

JUDEA. 113 

be a paradise, were it inhabited by an industrious people, 
under an enlightened government. Vine-stocks are to 
be seen here a foot and a half in diameter."^ 

/ will give it into the hands of strangers for a prey, 
and unto the wicked of the earth for a spoil. The rob- 
bers shall enter into it and defile it. Instead of abiding 
under a settled and enlightened government, Judea has 
been the scene of frequent invasions, " which have in- 
troduced a succession of foreign nations (des peuples 
Strangers. ^^y " When the Ottomans took Syria from 
the Mamelouks, they considered it as the spoil of a van- 
quished enemy. According to this law, the life and 
property of the vanquished belong to the conqueror. 
The government is far from disapproving of a system of 
rohhery and plunder which it finds so profitable."^ 

Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have 
trodden my portion under foot. The ravages commit- 
ted even by hosts of enemies are in general only tempo- 
rary ; or if an invader settle in a conquered country, on 
becoming the possessor, he cultivates and defends it. 
And it is the proper office of government to render life 
and property secure. In neither case has it fared thus 
with Judea. But besides successive invasions by foreign 
nations, and the systematic spoliation exercised by a 
despotic government, other causes have conspired to 
perpetuate its desolation, and to render abortive the sub- 
stance that is in it. Among these has chiefly to be num- 
bered, its being literally trodden underfoot by many pas- 
tors. Volney devotes a chapter, fifty pages in length, to 
a description, as he entitles it, " of the pastoral or loan- 
deling tribes of Syria," chiefly of the Bedouin Arabs, 
by whom, especially, Judea is incessantly traversed. 
" The pashalics of Aleppo and Damascus may be com- 
puted to contain about thirty thousand wandering Turk- 
men (Turcomans.) All their property consists in cattle." 
In the same pashalics, the number of the Curds " ex- 

' Schultze, in Pallas, cited by Malte-Brun, Geogr. vol. ii. p. 148 

2 Volney's Travels, vol. i. p. 356. 

3 Ibid. vol. ii. p. 370, 381 


114 JUDEA. 

ceeds twenty thousand tents and huts," or an equal num- 
ber of armed men. " The Curds are almost everywhere 
looked upon as robbers. Like the Turkmen, these 
Curds are joas^ors and wanderers.^ A third wandering 
people in Syria are the Bedouin Arabs."'' " It often 
happens that even individuals, turned robbers in order to 
wiilidraw themselves from the laws or from tyranny, 
unite and form a little camp, which maintain themselves 
by arms, and, increasing, become new hordes and new 
tribes. We may pronounce, that in cultivable countries 
the wandering life originates in the injustice or want of 
policy of the government ; and that the sedentary and 
the cultivating state is that to which mankind is most 
naturally inclined."^ "It is evident that agriculture 
must be very precarious in such a country, and that, 
under a government like that of the Turks, it is safer to 
lead a wandering life than to choose a settled habitation, 
and rely for subsistence on agriculture."'' " The Turk- 
men, the Curds, and the Bedouins, have no fixed habita- 
tions, but keep perpetually wandering with their tents 
and herds, in,limited districts, of which they look upon 
themselves as the proprietors. The Arabs spread over 
the whole frontier of Syria, and even the plains of Pa- 
lestine."^ — Thus, contrary to their natural inclination, 
the peasants, often forced to abandon a settled life, and 
pastoral tribes in great numbers, or many, and without 
fixed habitations, divide the country, as it were by mu- 
tual consent, and apportion it in limited districts amon^ 
themselves by an assumed right of property ; and the 
Arabs, subdivided also into different tribes, spread over 
the plains of Palestine, " wandering perpetually," as if 
on very purpose to tread it down. — What could be 
more unlikely or unnatural in such a land! yet what 
more striking and strictly true ! or how else could the 
effect of the vision have been seen ! " Many pastors 
have destroyed my vineyard; they have trodden my 
portion under foot.'' ^ 

' Volney's Travels, vol. ii. 370, i. 4, 5. 2 ibid. i. 377. 

3 Ibid. ii. 383. -« Ibid. ii. 387. ^ ibid. ii. 367, 368. 

JUDEA. 115 

Ye shall be as a garden that hath no water. How long 
shall the land mourn^ and the herbs of every field wither, 
for the wickedriess of them that dwell therein'? — " In all 
hot countries, wherever there is water, vegetation may 
be perpetually maintained and made to produce an un- 
interrupted succession of fruits to flowers, and flowers to 
fruit."^ " The remains of cisterns are to be found, 
(throughout Judea,) in which they collected the rain- 
water ; and traces of the canals by which those waters 
were distributed on the fields. — These labours necessa- 
rily created a prodigious fertility under an ardent sun, 
where a little water was the only requisite to revive the 
vegetable world.'"' Such labours, with very slight ex- 
ceptions, are now unknown. Judea is as a garden that 
hath no water, and the herbs of every field wither. " We 
see there none of that gay carpeting of grass and flow- 
ers which decorate the meadows of Normandy and 
Flanders, nor those clumps of beautiful trees which give 
such richness and animation to the landscapes of JBur- 
gundy and Brittany. — The land of Syria has almost 
always a dusty appearance.^ Had not these countries 
been ravaged by the hand of wan, they might perhaps at 
this day have been shaded with forests. That its pro- 
ductions do not correspond with its natural advantages, 
is less owing to its physical than political state. "^ " The 
whole of the mountain (near Tiberias) is covered with 
dry grass. "^ 

The forts and towers shall be for dens for ever. At 
every step we meet with ruins of towers^ dungeons, and 
castles with fosses — frequently inhabited by jackals, owls, 
and scorpions. ^^^ 

The multitude of the city shall be left. The defenced 
city shall be desolate, and the habitation forsaken. There 
are f» " prodigious quantity of ruins dispersed over the 

1 Volney's Travels, vol. ii. p. 359. 

2 Malte-Brun's Geo. vol. ii. pp. 150, 151. 

3 Volney's Travels, vol. ii. p. 359. 

4 Ibid. pp. 359, 360. 

^ Burckhardt's Travels, p. 331. 
« Volney's Travels, vol. ii. p. 336. 

116 JUDEA. 

plains, and even in the mountains, at this day de- 

There shall the calf feed ^ and there shall he lie dovm 
and consume the branches thereof A pasture of fiocks. 
There shall the lambs feed after their manner^ and tlw 
waste place of the fat ones shall strangers eat. Josephus 
describes Galilee, of which he- was the governor, as 
" full of plantations of trees of all sorts, the soil uni- 
versally rich and fruitful, and all, without the exception i 
of a single part, cultivated by the inhabitants. More- 
over," he adds, " the cities He here very thick, and 
there are very many villages, which are so full of people 
by the richness of their soil, that the very least of them 
contained above fifteen thousand inhabitants."^ Such 
was Galilee, at the commencement of the Christian era, 
several centuries after the prophecy was delivered ; but 
now, " the plain of Esdraelon, and all the other parts 
of Galilee which afford pasture, are occupied by Arab 
tribes, around whose brown tents the sheep and lambs 
gambol to the sound of the reed, which at night-fall 
calls them home."^ The calf feeds and lies down 
amidst the ruins of the cities, and consumes, without 
hinderance, the branches of the trees; and however 
changed may be the condition of the inhabitants, the 
lambs feed after their manner, and, while the land 
mourns, and the merry-hearted sigh, they gambol to the 
sound of the reed. 

The precise and complete contrast between the 
ancient and existing state of Palestine, as separately 
described by Jewish and Roman historians and by mo- 
dern travellers, is so strikingly exemplified in their oppo- 
site descriptions, that in reference to whatever constituted 
the beauty and the glory of the country, or the happiness 
of the people, an entire change is manifest, even in mi- 
nute circumstances. The universal richness and fruit- 
fulness of the soil of Galilee, together with its being 

' Volney's Travels, vol. ii. p. 368. 

* Josephus's Wars, book iii. chap. iii. § 2. 

' Schulze, quoted by Malte-Brun, vol. ii. p. 148. 

JUDEA. 117 

" full of plantations of all sorts of trees," are repre- 
sented by Josephus as "inviting the most slothful to 
take pains in its cultivation." And the other provinces 
of the Holy Land are also described by him as having 
*^ abundance of trees, full of autumnal fruit, both that 
which grows wild and that which is the effect of cultiva- 
tion."^ Tacitus relates, that, besides all the fruits of Italy, 
the palm and balsam tree flourished in the fertile soil of 
Judea. And he records the great carefulness with which, 
when the circulation of the juices seemed to call for it, 
they gently made an incision in the branches of the bal- 
sam, with a shell or pointed stone, not venturing to apply 
a knife. ^ No sign of such art or care is now to be seen 
throughout the land. The balm tree has disappeared 
where it long flourished ; and hardier plants have pe- 
rished from other causes than the want of due care 
in their cultivation. And instead of relating how the 
growth of a delicate tree is promoted, and the medi- 
cinal liquor, at the same time, extracted from its branches, 
by a nicety or perfectness of art worthy of the notice 
of a Tacitus, a different task has fallen to the lot of the 
traveller from a far land, who describes the customs of 
those who now dwell where such arts were practised. 
" The olive trees (near Arimathea) are daily perishing 
through age, the ravages of contending factions, and 
even from secret mischief. The Mamelouks having cut 
down all the olive trees, for the pleasure they take in 
destroying, or to make jfires, Yafa hast lost its greatest 
convenience."^ Instead of " abundance of trees being 
still the effect of cultivation," such, on the other hand, 
has been the effect of these ravages, that many places in 
Palestine are now " absolutely destitute of fuel." Yet 
in this devastation, and in all its progress, may be read 
the literal fulfilment of the prophecy, which not only 
described the desolate cities of Judea as a pasture of 
flocks, and as places for the calf to feed and lie down, 

' Josephus's Wars, book iii. chap. iii. § 4. 

2 Taciti Hist. lib. v. cap. vi. 

3 Volney's Travels, vol. ii. pp. 332, 333. 

118 JUDEA. 

and consume the branches thereof; but which, with 
equal truth, also declared, when the houghs thereof are 
withered, they shall he hroken off"; the women come and 
set them on Jire. 

For it is a people of no understanding. " The most 
simple arts are in a state of barbarism. The sciences 
are totally unknown."* 

Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and 
briers. " The earth produces only hriers and worm- 
wood. "^ A thorny shrub, (Merar,) and others of a simi- 
lar kind, abound throughout the desolated plains and 
hills of Palestine. Some of the latter are so closely 
beset, in many places, with thorns, that they can be 
ascended only with great difficulty : and " the whole 
district of Tiberias is covered with a thorny shrub. "^ 

Your highways shall he desolate.''' The highways lie 
waste; the watfaring man ceaseth.^ So great must have 
been the intercourse, in ancient times, between the 
populous and numerous cities of Judea, and so much 
must that intercourse have been increased by the fre- 
quent and regular journeyings, from every quarter, of 
multitudes going up to Jerusalem to worship, in observ- 
ance of the rites, and in obedience to the precepts of 
their law, that scarcely any country ever possessed such 
means of crowded highways, or any similar reason for 
abounding so much in wayfaring men. In the days of 
Isaiah, who uttered the latest of these predictions, " the 
land was full of horses, neither was there any end of 
their chariots." And there not only subsist to this day, 
in the land of Judea, numerous remains of paved ways 
formed by the Romans at a much later period, and 
" others evidently not Roman ;"^ but among the pre- 
cious literary remains of antiquity which have come 
down to our times, three Roman itineraries are to be 
numbered, that can here be confidently appealed to. 

' Volney's Travels, p. 442. 2 Volney's Ruins, p. 9. 

3 Burckhardt's Travels in Syria, p. 333. 

< Levii. xxvi. 22. » Isa. xxxiii. 8. 

6 General Straton's MS. 

JUDEA. 119 

From these, and from the testimony of Arrian and Dio- 
dorus Siculus, as well as of Josephus and Eusebius, 
it appears, as Reland has clearly shown, that in Pales- 
tine, long after it came mider the power of the Romans, 
and after it was greatly debased from its ancient glory, 
there were forty-two different highways, (viae publicse,) 
all being distinctly specified, which intersected it in 
various directions ; and the number of miles exceeding 
eight hundred and eighty.* Yet the prophecy is hterally 
true. " In the interior part of the country, there are 
neither great roads, nor canals, nor even bridges over 
the greatest part of the rivers and torrents, however ne- 
cessary they may be in winter. Between town and 
town there are neither posts nor public conveyances. 
Nobody travels alone, from the insecurity of the roads. 
One must wait for several travellers who are going to 
the same place, or take advantage of the passage of 
some great man who assumes the office of protector, 
but is more frequently the oppressor of the caravan. 
The roads in the mountains are extremely bad ; and the 
inhabitants are so far from levelling them, that they en- 
deavour to make them more rugged, in order, as they 
say, to cure the Turks of their desire to introduce their 
cavalry. It is remarkable that there is not a wagon or 
cart in all Syria. "^ " There are," continues Volney, 
" no inns anywhere. The lodgings in the khans (or 
places of reception for travellers) are cells where you 
find nothing but bare walls, dust, and sometimes scor- 
pions. The keeper of the khan gives the traveller the 
key and the mat, and he provides himself the rest. He 
must therefore carry with him his bed, his kitchen uten- 
sils, and even his provisions ; for frequently not even 
bread is to be found in the villages."^ " There are no 
carriages in the country," says another traveller, " under 
any denomination." "Among the hills of Palestine,""* 

' Relandi Palaestina ex monumentis veteribus illustrata, torn. i. 
lib. ii. cap. iii. iv. v. pp. 405, 425. 

2 Volney's Travels, vol. ii. pp. 417, 419. 

3 Ibid. pp. 417, 418, 419. " Wilson's Travels, p. 100. 

120 JUDEA. 

according to a third witness, " the road is impassable ; 
and the traveller finds himself among a set of infamous 
and ignorant thieves, who would cut his throat for a 
farthing, and rob him of his money for the mere plea- 
sure of doing it."^ In a country where there is a total 
want of wheel-carriages of every description, ttie high- 
ways, however excellent and nifmerous they once might 
have been, must lie waste; and where such dangers 
have to be encountered at every step, and such priva- 
tions at every stage, it is not now to be wondered that 
the wayfaring man ceaseth. But let the disciples of 
Volney tell by what dictates of human wisdom the whole 
of his description of these existing facts was summed up, 
in a brief sentence, by Moses and Isaiah ; by the former, 
thirty-three, and, by the latter, twenty-five centuries 

/ will send wild beasts among you which shall devour 
your cattle /^ / will make you waste ; and I will send 
upon you evil beasts, &c.^ Palestine, to this day, is over- 
run by wild beasts. Hyenas, lynxes, wild boars, bears, 
foxes, wolves, and jackals abound both in the moun- 
tains and plains. After sunset the Bedouin fires, espe- 
cially in the south, where flocks abound, are seen blaz- 
ing at various distances over the face of the country, in 
order to save the cattle, gathered together, from being 
devoured by the wild beasts. Sleeping in a tent at 
Naplose, the author was wakened by the howling of 
wild beasts, and the responding and mingled barking 
of dogs. On the sea-shore, at the foot of Carmel, two 
lynxes were seen late at night at the door of an adjoin- 
ing tent. And though detached from the other moun- 
tains of Judea, and situated on the sea-side, Carmel is 
still, as it has long been, " a habitation of wild beasts."* 
The writer was there informed by Lord Rokeby, that one 
of his servants had seen many hyenas at Jenin, of which 
he counted sixteen ; and another stated the number was 

' Richardson's Travels, vol. ii. p. 225. 

2 Deut. xxvi. 22. 3 Ezek. v. 17. 

* Mariti's Travels, vol. ii. p. 140. 

JUDEA. 121 

immense. And, at the same time, Lord Claude Hamil- 
ton stated, that on the plain of Jericho and the banks 
of the Jordan he had seen wild boars and innumerable 
traces of them. Even in the daytime, the wolf, the 
fox, the jackal, or the hyena, is occasionally seen (as 
•nay here be personally testified) by the passing tra- 
veller. The Lord hath not yet returned to visit the 
vineyard which his own right hand did plant ; and of 
the land of Judea, which he gave to the seed of Abra- 
ham by an everlasting covenant, it may literally be said, 
The hoar out of the wood doth waste it^ and the wild 
beast of the field doth devour it. But, looking beyond 
the time of these grievous desolations, the promise 
stands sure. " I will make with them a covenant 
of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out 
of the land : and they shall dwell safely in the wilder- 
ness, and sleep in the woods." But to this day the pro- 
phetic denunciation retains its undiminished as unre- 
pealed power. 

The spoilers shall come upon all high places through the 
wilderness. The robbers shall enter into it, &c. The 
land of Israel has not only been given into the hands of 
strangers for a prey, and unto the wicked of the earth 
for a spoil, as foreign nations have successively subju- 
gated and despoiled it ; but it has also been the prey of 
bordering marauders, to whose assaults, till recently and 
partially checked by the pasha of Egypt, it has for ages 
been exposed. " These precautions, on the part of tra- 
vellers, are above all necessary in the countries exposed 
to the Arabs, such as Palestine and the whole frontier 
of the desert."^ The spoilers shall come from all high 
places through the wilderness, said the prophet. Pre- 
cautions against robbers are above all necessary, 
along the whole frontier of the desert, says Volney. 
" The Arabs are plunderers of the cultivated lands, 
and robbers on the high-roads. On the slightest 
alarm the Arabs cut down their (the peasants') har- 
vests, seize their flocks, &c. The peasants with good 
' Volney's Travels, vol. ii. p. 417. 

122 JUDEA. 

cause call them thieves. The Arab makes nis incur- 
sions against hostile tribes, or seeks plunder in the coun- 
try or on the highways. He became a robber fron: 
greediness, and such is in fact his present character. A 
plunderer rather than a warrior, the Arab attacks only to 
despoil.* Such is the systematic spoliation and robbery 
to which the inhabitants of Palestine were subjected for 

TJie inhabitants of Jerusalem and of the land of Israel 
shall eat their bread with carefulness, and drink their 
water loith astonishment^ that her land may be desolate 
from all that is therein, because of the violence of all them 
that dwell therein. " In the great cities" (in Syria, none 
of which are in the Holy Land,) " the people have much 
of that dissipated and careless air which they usually 
have with us, because there, as well as here," says Vol- 
ney, alluding to France, " inured to suffering from habit, 
and devoid of reflection from ignorance, they enjoy a 
kind of security. Having nothing to lose, they are in no 
dread of being plundered. The merchant, on the con- 
trary, lives in a state of perpetual alarm, under the double 
apprehension of acquiring no more, and losing what he 
possesses. He trembles lest he should attract the atten- 
tion of rapacious authority, which would consider an air 
of satisfaction as a proof of opulence and the signal for 
extortion. The same dread prevails throughout the vil- 
lages, where every peasant is afraid of exciting the envy 
of his equals, and the avarice of the Aga and his soldiers. 
In such a country, where the subject is perpetually 
watched by a despoiling government, he must assume a 
serious countenance for the same reason that he wears 
ragged clothes ;"^ or, as the description might appro- 
priately have been concluded, in the very words of the 
prophet, " because of the violence of them that dwell 

They shall be ashamed of i)our revenues. " From the 
state of the contributions of each pashalic, it appears that 

' Volney's Travels, chap, zxiii. 
2 Ibid. vol. ii. pp. 477, 478. 

JUDEA. 123 

the annual sum paid by Syria into the Kasna, or treasury 
of the Sultan, amounts to 2345 purses ; viz. 

For Aleppo 800 purses. 

Tripoli 750 

Damascus 45 

Acre . 750 

Palestine — 

2345 purses ; 
wmch are equal to 2,931,250 livres, or ^£122, 135 ster- 
ling." After the specification of some incidental sources 
of revenue, it is added, " we cannot be far from the 
truth, if we compute the total of the sultan's revenue 
from Syria to be 7,500,000 livres," (^6312,500 sterling,)^ 
or less than the third part of one million sterling, and 
less than a seventh part of what it yielded, in tribute, 
unto Egypt, long after the prophecies were sealed. 
This is the whole amount that a government which has 
reached the acme of despotism, and which accounts pil- 
lage a right, and ail property its own, can extort from 
impoverished Syria. But, insignificant as this sum is, 
as the revenues of those extensive territories which in- 
cluded in ancient times several opulent and powerful 
states, the greater part must be deducted from it, before 
estimating the pitiful pittance, which, under the name of 
revenue, its oppressive masters can now drain from the 
land of Israel. A single glance at the preceding state- 
ment aflfords the obvious means of distinguishing the 
comparative desolation and poverty of the different pro- 
vinces of Syria. And the least unproductive of these in 
revenue, the pashalics of Aleppo and Tripoli, and a con- 
siderable portion of what now forms the pashalic of Acre, 
were not included within the boundaries of ancient Judea. 
Palestine, containing the ancient territory of Philistia, 
and part of Judea, was then gifted in whole, by the sul- 
tan, to two individuals. The very extensive pashalic 
of Damascus, so unproductive of revenue, includes 
Jerusalem, and a great proportion of ancient Judea ; so 
» Volney's Travels, vol. ii. p. 360. 

124 JUDEA. 

that of it, even with greater propriety than of the rest, it 
may be said, they shall he asJiarmd of your revenues. 

Instead of viewing separately each special prediction, 
the prophecies respecting the desolation of the land of 
Judea are so abundant, that several may be grouped to- 
gether ; and their meaning is so clear, that any explana- 
tory remarks would be superfluous. Nor is the evidence 
of their complete fulfihnent indistinct, or difficult to be 
found ; for Volney illustrates six predictions in a single 
sentence, to which he subjoins a reflection, not less con- 
firmatory than the whole of prophetic inspiration. 

" / will destroy your high places, and bring your sanc- 
tuaries into desolation. The palaces shall be forsaken. 
I will destroy the remnant of the sea-coast. I will make 
your cities waste. T/ie multitude of the city shall be left, 
the habitation forsaken, &c. The land shall be utterly 
spoiled. I will make the land more desolate than the 
vnldemess. " The temples are thrown down — the pa- 
laces demolished — ihe ports filled up — the towns destroyed 
— and the earth, stripped of inhabitants, seems a dreary 
hurying-place. ' ' ^ 

" Good God !" exclaims Volney, " from whence pro- 
ceed such melancholy revolutions ? For what cause is 
the fortune of these countries so strikingly changed'^ 
Why are so many cities destroyed ? Why is not that 
ancient population reproduced and perpetuated ?" "I 
wandered over the country ; I traversed the provinces ; 
I enumerated the kingdoms of Damascus and Idumea, 
of Jerusalem and Samaria. This Syria, said / to myself, 
now almost depopulated, then contained a hundred flou- 
rishing cities, and abounded with towns, villages, and 
hamlets. What is become of so many productions of 
the hands of man ? What is become of those ages of 
abundance and of life?" &c. Seeking to be wise, men 
become fools, when they trust to their own vain imagi- 
nations, and will not look to that word of God, which 
is as able to confound the wise as to give understand- 
ing to the simple. These words, from the lips of a great 
' Volney's Ruins, ch. xi. p. 8. 



advocate of infidelity, proclaim the certainty of the truth 
which he was too bhnd or bigoted to see. For not 
more unintentionally or unconsciously do many illiterate 
Arab pastors, or herdsmen, verify one prediction, while 
they literally tread Palestine underfoot, than Volney, the 
academician, himself verifies another, while, speaking 
in his own name, and the spokesman also of others, he 
thus confirms the unerring truth of God's holy word, by 
what he said, as well as by describing what he saw. 
" The generation to come of your children that shall rise 
up after you, and the stranger that shall come from 
A FAR LAND, shall SAY, whcn they see the plagues of that 
land, and the sickness which tJie Lord hath laid upon it, 
Wherefore hath the Lord done this unto the land 9 what 
meaneth the heat of this great anger ? 

It is no " secret malediction," spoken of by Volney, 
which God has pronounced against Judea. It is the 
curse of a broken covenant that rests upon the land — the 
consequences of the iniquities of the people, not of those 
only who have been plucked from off it, and scattered 
throughout the world, but of those also that dwell therein. 
The ruins of empires originated not from the regard 
which mortals paid to revealed religion, but from causes 
diametrically the reverse. Neither Jews nor Christians 
who possessed a revelation were the desolators ; under 
them Judea flourished. The destruction of Jerusalem, 
and of the cities of Palestine, was the work of the Ro- 
mans, who were pagan idolaters ; and the devastation, 
in more recent ages, w^as perpetuated by the Saracens 
and Turks, believers in the impostor Mahomet, and the 
desolations were wrought by the enemies of the Mosaic 
and Christian dispensations. The desolations are not of 
divine appointment, but only as they have followed the 
violations of the laws of God, or have arisen from 
thence. The virtual renunciation of a holy faith brought 
on destruction. And none other curses have come upon 
the land than those that are written in the book. The 
character and condition of the people are not less defi- 
nitely marked than the features of the land that has 

126 JUDEA, 

been smitten witli a curse because of their iniquities 
And when the unbeliever asks, Wherefore hath the Lora 
done this unto the land, the seune word which foretold 
that the question would be put, supplies an answer, and 
assigns the cause. Then shall men say, Because they 
have forsaken the covenant of the Lord God of theii' 
fathers, &c. 

The land is defied under the inhabitants thereof 6e- 
came they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordi- 
nances, broken the everlasting covenant : therefare hath the 
curse devoured the earth, &c. These expressive words, 
while they declare the cause of the judgments and deso- 
lations, denote also the great depravity of those who 
were to inhabit the land of Judea during the time of its 
desolation, and while its ancient inhabitants were to be 
"scattered abroad." And although the ignorance of 
those who dwell therein may be pitied, their degeneracy 
will not be denied. The ferocity of the Turks, the 
predatory habits of the Arabs, the abject state of the 
few poor Jews who are suffered to dwell in the land of 
their fathers, the base superstitions of the different Chris- 
tian sects, — the frequent contentions that subsist among 
such a mingled and diversified people, and the gross 
ignorance and great depravity that prevail throughout 
the whole, have all sadly changed and stained the moral 
aspect of that country which, from sacred remembrances, 
is denominated the Holy Land, — have converted that 
region, where alone in all the world, and during many 
ages, the only living and true God was worshipped, and 
where alone the pattern of perfect virtue was ever ex- 
hibited to human view or in the human form, into one 
of the most degraded countries of the globe, and, in ap- 
propriate terms, may well be said to have defied the land. 
And it has been defiled throughout many an age. The 
Father of mercies afflicteth not willingly, nor grieves the 
children of men. Sin is ever the precursor of the actual 
judgments of Heaven. It was on account of their 
idolatry and wickedness that the ten tribes were earliest 
plucked from off the land of Israel. The blood of Jesus, 

JUDEA. 127 

according to their prayer, and the full measure of their 
iniquity, according to their doings, was upon the Jews 
and upon their children. Before they were extirpated 
from that land which their iniquities had defiled, it was 
drenched with the blood of more than a milHon of their 
race. Judea afterwards had a partial and temporary 
respite from desolation, when Christian churches were 
established there. But in that land, the nursery of Chris- 
tianity, the seeds of its corruption, or perversion, began 
soon to appear. The moral power of religion decayed, 
the worship of images prevailed, and the nominal disci- 
ples of a pure faith " broke the everlasting covenant."* 
The doctrine of Mahomet — the Koran or the sword — 
was the scourge and the cure of idolatry ; but all the 
native impurities of the Mahometan creed succeeded to 
a grossly corrupted form of Christianity. Since that 
period, hordes of Saracens, Egyptians, Fatimites, Tar- 
tars, Mamelukes, Turks, (a combination of names of un- 
matched barbarism, at least in modern times,) have, for 
the space of twelve hundred years, defiled the land of the 
children of Israel with iniquity and with blood. And in 
very truth the prophecy savours not in the least of hyper- 
bole, — the worst of the heathen shall possess their houses. 
And the holy places shall he defiled. " After the final 
destruction," in the words of Gibbon, "of the stately 
temple of the Jewish nation by the arms of Titus and 
Hadrian, a ploughshare was drawn over the consecrated 
ground, as a sign of perpetual interdiction. Sion was 
deserted ; and the vacant space of the lower city was 
filled with the public and private edifices of the ^lian 
colony, which spread themselves over the adjacent hill 
of Calvary. The holy places were polluted with the monu- 
ments of idolatry ; and either by design or accident, a 
chapel was dedicated to Venus, on the spot which had 
been sanctified by the death and resurrection of Christ."** 
Omar, on the first conquest of Jerusalem by the Maho- 
metans, erected a mosque on the site of the temple of 
Solomon ; and, jealous as the God of Israel is that his 
' Isaiah xxiv. 5. 2 Gibbon's Hist. vol. iv. p 100, c. 23. 

138 JUDEA. 

glory be not given to another, the unseemly and violent 
and bloody contentions among Christian sects around the 
very sepulchre of the Author of the faith which they dis- 
honour, bear not a feebler testimony in the present day, 
than the preceding fact bore, at so remote a period, to 
the truth of this prediction. The frenzied zeal of cru- 
sading Christians could not rescue the sepulchre of Christ 
from the heathen who defiled it, though Europe then 
poured like a torrent upon Asia. But the defilement of 
the land, no less than that of the holy places, is not yet 
cleansed away. And Judea is still defiled to this hour, 
not only by oppressive rulers, but by an unprincipled 
and a lawless people. " The barbarism of Syria," says 
Volney, " is complete."* " I have often reflected," 
says Burckhardt, in describing the dishonest conduct of 
a Greek priest in the Hauran, (but in words that admit 
of too general an application,) " that if the English pe- 
nal laws were suddenly promulgated in this country, 
there is scarcely any man in business, or who has money 
dealings with others, who would not be liable to trans- 
portation before the end of the first six months."** " Un- 
der the name of Christianity, every degrading supersti- 
tion and profane rite, equally remote from the enlightened 
tenets of the gospel and the dignity of human nature, 
are professed and tolerated. The pure gospel of Christ, 
everywhere the herald of civilization and of science, is 
almost as little known in the Holy Land as in California 
or New Holland. A series of legendary traditions, min- 
gled with remains of Judaism, and the wretched phan- 
tasies of illiterate ascetics, may now and then exhibit a 
glimmering of heavenly light ; but if we seek for the 
effects of Christianity in the land of Canaan, we must 
look for that period, when the desert shall blossom as 
the rose, and the wilderness become a fruitful field. "^ 
The land is defiled under the inhabitants thereof, because 
they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, 

' Volney's Travels, vol. ii. p. 442. 
" 2 Burckhardt's Travels in Syria, p. 89. 
3 Clarke's Travels, vol. ii. p. 405. 

JUDEA. 12a 

broken the everlasting covenant : therefore hath the curse 
devoured the land, and 

They that dwell therein are desolate. *' The govern- 
ment of the Turks in Syria is a pure mihtary despotism, 
that is, the bulk of the inhabitants are subject to the 
caprices of a faction of armed men, who dispose of every 
thing according to their interest and fancy." "In each 
government the pasha is an absolute despot. In the 
villages, the inhabitants, limited to the mere necessaries 
of life, have no arts but those without which they can- 
not subsist." " There is no safety without the towns, 
nor security within their precincts ;"^ and 

Few men left. While their character is thus depraved 
and their condition miserable, their number is also small 
indeed, as the inhabitants of so extensive and fertile a 
region. After estimating the number of inhabitants in 
Syria, in general, Volney remarks : " So feeble a popu- 
lation in so excellent a country may well excite our 
astonishment; but this will be increased, if we compare 
the present number of inhabitants with that of ancient 
times. We are informed by the philosophical geo- 
grapher, Strabo, that the territories of Yamnia and Yop- 
pa, in Palestine alone, were formerly so populous as to 
bring forty thousand armed men into the field. At pre- 
sent they could scarcely furnish three thousand. From 
the accounts we have of Judea in the time of Titus, 
which are to be esteemed tolerably accurate, that coun- 
try must have contained four millions of inhabitants. If 
we go still further back into antiquity, we shall find the 
same populousness among the Philistines, the Phoeni- 
cians, and in the kingdoms of Samaria and Damascus."^ 
Though the ancient population of the land of Israel be 
estimated at the lowest computation, and the existing 
population be rated at the highest, yet that country does 
not now contain above a tenth part of the number of in- 
habitants which it plentifully supported, exclusively from 
th**'** industry and from the rich resources of its own 

' Volney's Travels, vol. ii. pp. 370, 376, 380. 
2 Ibid. p. 366. 

130 JUDEA. 

luxuriant soil, for many successive centuries ; and how 
could it possibly have been imagined that this identical 
land would ever yield so scanty a subsistence to the 
desolate dwellers therein, and that there would be so 
few men left ? 

Yet in it shall he a tenth. The city that went out by a 
thbusand shall leave an hundred^ 'and that which went out 
by an hundred shall leave ten. The present population of 
Judea has been estimated, without reference to any predic- 
tion, at a tenth of the number by which it was peopled 
previous to the dispersion of the Jews. Volney, on a 
comparative estimate, reduces it even to less. It is im- 
possible to ascertain the precise proportion. The words 
of Pierre Bello, quoted by Malte-Brun, though the same 
in substance with the testimony of others, here afford the 
closest commentary. " A tract from which a hundred 
individuals draw a scanty subsistence formerly main- 
tained thousands. ^^^ 

The mirth of the tabret ceaseth, the noise of them that 
rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth. Instrumental 
music was common among the Jews. The tabret, and 
the harp, the cymbal, the psaltery, and the viol, and other 
instruments of music, are often mentioned as in familiar 
use among the Israelites, and regularly formed a great part 
of the service of the temple. At the period when the 
prediction was delivered, the harp, the viol, and the 
tabret, and pipe, and wine w^ere in their feasts; and 
even though the Jews have long ceased to be a nation, 
the use of these instruments has not ceased from among 
them. But in the once happy land of Judea, the voice 
of mirthful music is at rest. In a general description of 
the state of the arts and sciences in Syria, including the 
whole of the Holy Land, Volney remarks, that adepts in 
music are very rarely to be met with. " They have no 
music but vocal ; for they neither know nor esteem iri- 
strumental; and they are in the right, for such instru- 
ments as they have, not excepting their flutes, are 

' Malte-B run's Geography, vol. ii p. 151. 

JUDEA. 131 

detestable."* The mirth of the tahret ceaseth, the joy of 
the harp ceaseth. 

But this is not the sole instance in which the melan- 
choly features of that desolate country seem to be trans- 
ferred to the minds of its inhabitants. And the plaintive 
language of the prophet (the significancy of which might 
well have admitted of some slight modification, if one 
jot or tittle could pass away till all be fulfilled,) is true 
to the very letter, when set side by side, unaided by one 
syllable of comment, with the words of a bold and 
avowed unbeliever. 

All the merry-hearted do sigh ; tJiey shall not drink 
wine with a song ; all joy is darkened^ the mirth of the 
land is gone. Their shouting shall he no shouting. 
" Their performance" (singing) " is accompanied with 
sighs and gestures. They may be said to excel most 
in the melancholy strain. To behold an Arab with his 
head inclined, his hand applied to his ear, his eyebrows 
knit, his eyes languishing ; to hear his plaintive tones, 
his sighs and sobs, it is almost impossible to refrain 
from tears. "^ If any further illustration of the predic- 
tion be requisite, the same ill-fated narrator of facts ex- 
hibits anew the visions of the prophet. From his 
description (chap, xl.) of the manner and character of 
the inhabitants of Syria, it is obvious that melancholy 
is a predominating feature. " Instead of that open and 
cheerful countenance, which we either naturally possess 
or assume, their behaviour is serious, austere, and me- 
lancholy. They rarely laugh ; and the gaiety of the 
French appears to them a fit of delirium. When they 
speak, it is with deliberation, without gesture, and with- 
out passion ; they listen without interrupting you ; they 
are silent for whole days together: and by no means 
pique themselves on supporting conversation. Conti- 
nually seated, they pass whole days musing, with their 
legs crossed, their pipes in their mouths, and almost 
witnout changing their attitude. The orientals, in gene 

' Volney's Travels, vol. ii. p. 439. 
Ibid. pp. 439, 440. 

132 JUDEA. 

ral, have a grave and phlegmatic exterior ; a staid and 
almost listless deportment ; and a serious, nay^ even sad 
and melancholy countenance."* Having thus explicitly 
stated the fact, Volney, by many arguments, equally ju- 
dicious and just, most successfully combats the idea that 
the climate and soil are the radical cause of so striking 
a phenomenon ; and, after assigning a multiplicity of 
facts from ancient history which completely disprove the 
efficacy of such causes, he instances that of the Jews, 
" who, limited to a little state, never ceased to struggle 
for a thousand years against the most powerful empires.^ 
If the men of these nations were inert," he adds, " what 
is activity ? If they were active, where then is the in- 
fluence of climate ? Why, in the same countries where 
so much energy was displayed in former times, do we 
at present find such profound indolence?" And, having 
thus relieved the advocate for the inspiration of the 
Scriptures from the necessity of proving that the contrast 
in the manner and character of the present and of the 
ancient inhabitants of Syria is (even now, when the 
change is become matter of history and obsen^ation, and 
when the circumstances respecting it are known) in- 
capable of solution from any natural causes, such as by 
some conceivable possibility might have been foreseen, 
he proceeds to point out those real, efficacious, and 
efficient causes, viz., the mode of government, and the 
state of religion and of the laws, the nature of which no 
human sagacity could possibly have descried, and which 
came not into existence or operation in the manner in 
which they have so long continued, for many ages sub- 
sequent to the period when their full and permanent 
effect was laid open to the full view of the prophets of 
Israel. The fact, thus clearly predicted and proved, is 
not only astonishing as referable to the inhabitants of 
Judea, and as exhibiting a contrast, than which nothing, 
of a similar kind, can be more complete ; but it is so 
very contradictory to the habits of men and the customs 

' Volney's Travels, vol. ii. pp. 461, 476. 
^ Ibid. p. 464. 

JUDEA. 133 

of nations, that it is totally inexplicable how, by any 
human means, such a fact, even singly, could ever have 
been foretold. From the congregated groups of savages, 
cheered by their simple instruments of music, exulting 
in their war-songs, and revelling in their mirth, to the 
more elegant assemblages of poHshed society, listening 
with delight to the triumphs of music ; from the huts of 
the wilderness to the courts of Asia and of Europe ; and 
from the wilds of America, the jungles of India, and 
even the deserts of central Africa, to the meadows of 
England, the plains of France, or the valleys of Italy ; 
the experience of mankind in every clime — except par- 
tially where the blasting influence of the crescent is 
felt — proclaims, as untrue to nature, the predicted fact, 
which actuaHy has been permanently characteristic of 
the inhabitants of the once happy land of Israel. The 
fact perhaps would have been but slowly credited, and 
the synonymous terms of the ample description and of 
the repeated prophecies might have been reckoned the 
fiction of a biassed judgment, had a Christian, instead 
of Volney, been the witness. 

They shall not drink wine with a song. Strong drink 
shall be bitter unto them that drink it. The more 
closely that the author of the Ruins of Empires traces 
the causes in which the desolation of these regions, and 
the calamities of the inhabitants, originate, he supplies 
more abundant data for a demonstration that the prophe- 
cies respecting them cannot but be divme. " One of 
the chief sources," continues Volney, " of gaiety with 
us, is the social intercourse of the table, and the use of 
wine. The orientals (S3n:ians) are almost strangers to 
this double enjoyment. Good cheer would infallibly 
expose them to extortion, and wine to corporeal punish- 
ment, from the zeal of the police in enforcing the pre- 
cepts of the Koran. It is with great reluctance the 
Mahometans tolerate the Christians the use of a liquor 
they envy them."^ To this statement may be subjoined 
the more direct, but equally unapplied, testimony of 
' Volney's Travels, vol. ii. p. 480. 

134 JUDEA. 

recent travellers. " The wines of Jerusalem," says Mr 
Joliffe, V* are most execrable. In a country where every 
species of vinous liquor is strictly prohibited by the con 
current authorities of law and gospel, a single fountain 
may be considered of infinitely greater value than many 
wine-presses,"^ Mr. Wilson relates, that the wine 
drunk in Jerusalem is probably 4he very worst to be 
met with in any country.^ While the intolerance and 
despotism of the Turks, and the rapacity and wildness 
of the Arabs, have blighted the produce of Judea, and 
render abortive all the influence of climate, and all the 
fertility of that land of vines, the unnatural prohibition 
of the use of wine, and the rigour with which that pro- 
hibition is enforced, have peculiarly operated against 
the cultivation of the vine, and turned the treading of 
the wine-press into an odious and unprofitable task. 
Yet in a country where the vine grows spontaneously, 
and which was celebrated for the excellence of its 
wines,^ nothing less than the operation of causes unna- 
tural and extreme as these, could have verified the lan- 
guage of prophecy. But in this instance, as truly as in 
every otlier, a recapitulation of the prophecies is the 
best summary of the facts. And, by only changing the 
future into the present and the past, after an interval of 
two thousand five hundred years, no eye-witness, writing 
on the spot, could delineate a more accurate representa- 
tion of the existing state of Judea, than in the very 
words of Isaiah, in which, as in those of other prophets, 
the various and desultory observations of travellers are 
concentrated into a description equally perspicuous and 

" Many days and years shall ye be troubled ; for the 
vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come. They 
shall lament for the teats, for the pleasant fields, for the 
fruitful vine. Upon the land of my people shall come 
up thorns and briers ; yea, upon all the houses of joy in 

1 Joliffe's Letters from Palestine, vol. i. p. 184. 

2 Wilson's Travels, p. 130. 

3 Relandi Palaistina, pp. 381, 79% 

JUDEA. 135 

the joyous city : because the palaces shall be forsaken ; 
the multitude of the city shall be left; the forts and 
towers shall be for dens, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of 
flocks.* The highways lie waste; the wayfaring man 
ceaseth. The earth mourneth and languisheth ; Lebanon 
is ashamed or hewn down, or withered away ; Sharon is 
like a wilderness ; and Bashan and Carmel shake off 
their fruits.^ The land shall be utterly emptied and 
utterly spoiled. The earth mourneth and fadeth away ; 
■ — it is defiled under the inhabitants thereof, because they 
have transgressed the laws. Therefore hath the curse 
devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are deso- 
late, — and few men left. The vine languisheth, all the 
merry-hearted do sigh. The mirth of tab rets ceaseth, 
the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp 
ceaseth. They shall not drink wine with a song ; strong 
drink shall be bitter to them that drink it. The city of 
confusion is broken down ; — all joy is darkened ; the 

mirth of the land is 



To this picture of common and general devastation, 
that no distinguishing feature might be left untouched or 
untraced by his pencil, the prophet adds : " When thus 
it shall be in the midst of the land, there shall be as the 
shaking of an olive tree, and as the gleaning-grapes 
when the vintage is done.'* The glory of Jacob shall be 
made thin ; and it shall be as when the harvestman 
gathereth the corn, and reapeth the ears with his arm : 
yet gleaning-grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of 
an olive tree, two or three berries in the top of the up- 
permost bough, four or five in the outmost fruitful 
branches thereof."^ These words imply, as otherwise 
declared without a metaphor, that a small remnant would 
be left ; that though Judea should become poor like a 
field that has been reaped, or like a vine stripped of its 
fruits, its desolation would not be so complete but that 
some vestige of its former abundance would be still visi- 
ble, like the few grains that are left by the reaper when 

' Isa.xxxii.lO, 12—14. 2 jsa. xxxiii. 8, 9. 

3 Isa. xxiv. 3 — 11. 4 Isa. xxiv. 13. * Isa. xvii.4 — 6. 

136 JUDEA. 

the harvest is past, or the little remaining fruit that hangs 
on the uppennost branch, or on a neglected bough, after 
tlie full crop has been gathered, and the vine and the 
olive have been shaken. And is there yet a gleaning 
left of all the glory of Israel ? There is ; and there could 
not be any simile more natural or more expressive of 
the fact. Napolose (the ancient Sychar or Sichem) is 
luxuriantly embosomed in the most delightful and fra- 
grant bowers, half-concealed by rich gardens and by 
stately trees, collected into groves all around the beau- 
tiful valley in which it stands.' The garden of Geddin, 
situated on the borders of Mount Sharon, and protected 
by its chief, extends several miles in a spacious valley, 
abounding with excellent fruits, such as olives, almonds, 
peaches, apricots and figs. A number of streams that 
fall from the mountains, traverse it, and water the cot- 
ton plants that thrive well in this fertile soil.^ The 
scenery in the plain of Zabulon is, to the full, as delight- 
ful as in the rich vale upon the south of the Crimea ; — it 
reminds the traveller of the finest part of Kent and Sur- 
rey.^ The soil, although stony, is exceedingly rich, but 
now entirely neglected. But the delightful vale of Za- 
bulon appears everywhere covered wath spontaneous 
vegetation, flourishing in the wildest exuberance. Even 
along the mountains of Gilead, the land, possessing ex- 
traordinary riches, abounds with the most beautiful pros- 
pects, is clothed with rich forests, varied with verdant 

' Clarke, vol. ii. p. 506. The remark may be interesting to the 
Christian reader, that, — while Capernaum, the capital of Galilee, 
which was " exalted unto heaven," or the highest prosperity, 
when Jesus and his apostles preached there in vain, is brought 
down to hell, (to hades,) to death, or entire destruction, being no- 
thing now but shapeless ruins, as Chorazin and Bethsaida also 
are, — and while Samaria, the capital of the country which bore its 
name, is cast down into the valley, — Sychar, then one of its infe- 
rior cities, from which the inhabitants came forth to meet Jesus, 
and in which many believed in him as the Saviour when they 
heard his word, is ranked by every traveller who describes it> 
among the most striking exceptions to the general desolation, 
which has otherwise left but a remembrance of the cities of Judah 
of Samaria, and Galilee. 

2 Mariti's Travel's, ii. 151. a Clarke, ii. 400. 


slopes ; and extensive plains of a fine red soil are now 
covered with thistles, as the best proof of its fertility/ 
The valley of St. John's, in the vicinity of Jerusalem, is 
crowned to the top with olives and vines, while the 
lower part of the valley bears the milder fig and almond.** 
Whenever any spot is fixed upon as the residence, and 
seized as the property, either of a Turkish Aga or of an 
Arab Sheikh, it enjoys his protection, is made to admi- 
nister to his wants or to his luxury, and the exuberance 
and beauty of the land of Canaan soon reappear. But 
such spots are, in the words of an eye-witness, only 
" mere sprinklings" in the midst of extensive desolation. 
And how could it ever have been foreseen, that the 
same cause, viz., the residence of despotic spoliators, 
was to operate in so strange a manner, as to spread a 
wide wasting desolation over the face of the country, 
and to be, at the same time, the very means of preserv- 
ing the thin gleaning of its ancient glory ? or that a few 
berries on the outmost bough would be saved by the 
same hand that was to shake the olive ? 

Among such a multipHcity of prophecies, where the 
prediction and the fulfihnent of each is a miracle, it is 
almost impossible to select any as more amazing than 
the rest. But that concerning Samaria is not the least 
remarkable. The city was, for a long period, the capi- 
tal of the ten tribes of Israel. Herod the Great en- 
larged and adorned it, and, in honour of Augustus 
CcBSar, gave it the name of Sebaste. There are many 
ancient medals which were struck there. ^ Its history is 
thus brought down to a period unquestionably far remote 
from the time of the prediction ; and the narrative of a 
traveller, which alludes not to the prophecy, and which 
has even been unnoticed by commentators, shows its 
complete fulfilment. Besides other passages which 
speak of its extinction as a city, the word of the Lord 
which Micah saw concerning Samaria, is — "I will make 

' Buckingham's Travels, p. 322. 
^ General Straton's MS. Travels. 

Calmet's Dictionary; Relandi Palaestina, p. 981, 


Samaria as a heap of the field, and as plantings of a 
vineyard: and I will pour down the stones thereof into 
the valley ; and I will discover the foundations thereof." 
And " this great city is now wholly converted into gar- 
dens ; 'and all the tokens that remain to testify that there 
has ever been such a place, are only, on the north side, 
a large square piazza encompassed with pillars, and on 
the east some poor remains of a great church." Such 
was the first notice of that ancient capital given by 
Maundrell in 1696, and it is confirmed by Mr. Bucking- 
ham in 1816 : " The relative distance, local position, 
and unaltered name of Sebaste, leave no doubt as to the 
identity of its site ; and," he adds, " its local features 
are equally seen in the threat of Micah."^ 

Such was the brief notice of the ancient capital of 
Israel, contained in the previous editions of this treatise. 
But having visited the interesting spot, the author can- 
not forbear from glancing at the prophetic history of 
Samaria, and pointing more minutely to its local features 
as they are indeed clearly seen in the threatenings of the 

In the origin of its history, the hill of Samaria was 
bought of Shemer, by Omri, king of Israel, who built on 
it a city, which, after the name of Shemer, owner of the 
hill, he called Samaria.^ Few seats of royalty can 
rival its princely site. In regard at least to its capabili- 
ties for strength or beauty, separately, far more conjointly, 
it could scarcely be surpassed. Its local position is 
most peculiar. Of a finely varied and oblong form, the 
insulated hill of Samaria, with a flattened summit, seems 
as if it had been raised by nature at " the head of the 
fat valley," to be at once a stronghold and a royal seat. 
And judgment-stricken as it is, none can stand on the 

1 Maundrell's Travels, p. 78; Buckingham's Travels, pp.511, 
512. It has also been described in similar terms by other travel- 
lers. The stones are poured down into the valley, the foundations 
discovered, and there is now only to be seen " the hill where once 
stood Samaria." Napolose has been mistaken by one traveller for 
^he ancient Samaria. 

2 1 Kings xvi. 34. 


uncovered foundations of the vanished city, and look, 
from among its solitary columns, on the gleamings of its 
ancient glory all around, without beholding, as it were, 
in the mind's or in the memory's eye, the once glorious 
beauty of the city and of the scene, ere ever the flower 
that bloomed there in all its gorgeous beauty had faded, 
or " the crown of pride" that was seated there had been 
trampled under foot. On one side, beyond the narrow 
intervening plain, where native lovehness in wild luxu- 
riance lingers still, the terraced hills which bound the 
head of the valley rise gently from the plain, as if spread 
forth to view in all their natural richness, and must once 
have formed a noble portion of the scene of " glorious 
beauty," which the hanging gardens of Babylon could 
have but faintly imitated. And on the other, the valley, 
varied in its features, but unvaried in natural fertility, 
spreads forth into a wide expanse, as if unfolding the 
ancient glory of Israel, while as yet there was no lean- 
ness there. 

But Samaria was as noted for its wickedness as for its 
beauty ; and therefore it is marked all over with judg- 
ments. Omri, the king of Israel, and founder of Sama- 
ria, wrought evil in the eyes of the Lord ; and did 
worse than all that were before him. But Ahab, his 
son, and other successors in his stead, exceeded him in 
iniquity. Samaria became the seat of idolatry and 
wickedness ; and the word of the Lord went forth 
against it. 

The head of Ephraim is Samaria.* Wo to the croim 
of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious 
beauty is as a fading flower, which are on the head of 
the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine ! 
Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong arm, which, 
as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood 
of mighty water overflowing, shall cast down to the 
earth with the hand. The crown of pride, the drunk- 
ards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet : and the 
glorious beauty which is on the head of the fat valley 
' Isa. vii. 9. 


shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the 
summer ; which, when he that looketh upon seeth, while 
it is yet in his hand, he eateth it up.* I will cause to 
cease the kingdom of the house of Israel.^ I will 
hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that 
she shall not find her paths.^ The pride of Israel doth 
testify to his face : therefore shall Israel and Ephraim 
fall in their iniquity.'* They have deeply corrupted 
themselves, therefore he will remember their iniquity, he 
will visit their sins. — As for Ephraim, their glory shall 
fly away like a bird.* The inhabitemts of Samaria shall 
mourn over it — for the glory thereof, because it is departed 
from it. As for Samaria, her king is cut off as the 
foam upon the water.^ Samaria shall become desolate : 
for she hath rebelled against her God.^ The word of 
the Lord which Micah saw concerning Samaria— What 
is the transgression of Jacob ? is it not Samaria ? — 
Therefore I will make Samaria as an heap of the field, 
and as plantings of a vineyard. And I will pour down 
the stones thereof into the valley ; and I will discover 
the foundations thereof. For the statutes of Omri are 
kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab, and ye 
walk in all their counsels, that I should make you a 
desolation.^ Wo to them that are at ease in Zion, and 
trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named 
chief of the nations ; that lie upon beds of ivory, and 
stretch themselves upori» their couches ; that chant to 
the sound of the viol, and drink wine in bowls ; but they 
are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph ; therefore 
now shall they go captive with the first that go captive.^ 
The ten tribes, whose capital was Samaria, were the 
first to go captive. The king of Assyria came up 
throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria and 
besieged it three years ; and he took Samaria, and 
carried Israel away into Assyria. *° And Vie glory of 

1 Isa. xxviii. 1 — 4. 2 Hos. i. 4. ^ jjqs. ii. 6. 

" Hos. V. 5. 5 Hos. ix. 9, 11. ^ Hos. x. 5, 7. 

' Hos. xiii. 16. s Micah i. 6, vi. 16. 9 Amos vi. I — 7. 
»o 2 Kings xvii. 5, 6. 


Ephraim flew away like a bird. But the predicted doom 
of the land of Israel, and of the city of Samaria, was 
not to be taken away till the captivity of Israel should 
also cease. Rebuilt and destroyed anew, it has ever 
met its yet irrevocable fate. After the expulsion of the 
Israelites, its new inhabitants, brought by the king of 
Assyria from Babylon, Cuthah, and Hamath, &c., were 
called by its name. But it had yet to be cast down 
and to be laid desolate. And the Samaritans, little 
more than a century before the Christian era, having, by 
inflicting injuries on a colony of Jews, provoked the 
wrath of Hyrcanus, the ethnarch and high-priest of Judea, 
he besieged Samaria, and encompassed it with a ditch 
and double wall, eighty furlongs or ten miles in length. 
His sons Antigonus and Aristobulus were set over the 
siege. Suffering the greatest privations, and reduced to 
extreme distress, the Samaritans invoked the aid of An- 
tiochus Cyzicenes, who reigned at Damascus over Coelo- 
Syria and Phoenicia. Antiochus was defeated, and all 
his aid was in vain, though he ravaged the land of Israel 
and of Judea. Samaria was again invested. Her way 
was hedged up, walled with a wall she could not find her 
path. And the glorious beauty was as a fading flower, 
and as the hasty fruit before the summer, which, when, 
he that looketh upon seeth, while it is yet in his hand h£ 
eateth it. After a year's siege, it was no sooner in the 
hand of Hyrcanus, than he destroyed it. Having taken 
Samaria, he demolished it utterly, till he left not any 
vestige of a city.* Though rebuilt by Gabinius, pro- 
consul of Syria, and afterwards enlarged and adorned 
by Herod the Great, neither consul nor king could avert 
its fate. And now, no city is there, ^' the hill on which 
stood Samaria" is alone to be seen, bearing in its "fea- 
tures" the threatenings of the prophets. 

Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong arm, which, 

as a destroying storm, &c., shall cast down to the earth 

with the Mnd. — Samaria has been cast down to the earth. 

The crown of pride has been trodden under foot. Not a 

' Joseph, art. xiii. c. x. 2, 3. 

142 SAMARU. 

single portion of a wall of any ancient edifice is stand- 
ing. There are only the remains of a comparatively 
modern convent. Samaria is no more. But even 
there, where it stood in its glory, it has not been suffered 
to lie. 

■ / mil make Samaria as an heap of the field, and as plant- 
ings of a vineyard. Stones aboiind in the mountainous 
regions of Israel ; and it is evident, that in the terraced 
vineyards the stones have been gathered out of the level 
spaces, which were occupied only by the soil, and when 
freed from them were fitted for planting. In some 
fields in the valleys, the stones have been gathered up, 
and have been cast into heaps, which thus form literally 
" heaps of the field." The author, on being asked, 
while approaching Samaria, what he understood by 
heaps of the field, unhesitatingly answered, as thus ex- 
plained, such heaps as had been passed the preceding 
day. Samaria, it is recorded, was utterly demolished, 
immediately after it was taken by Aristobulus, and must 
then have formed a great mass of ruins. From these it 
was raised again by Gabinius and by Herod the Great, 
who enlarged and adorned it, to render it worthy of its 
new name, which he gave to Augustus, who had 
given him a kingdom. But again it has been cast 
down, and more lowly than before. It is even reduced 
to be as an heap of the field. The stones which yet lie 
on its surface, bereaved of the glory that might seem 
to hover around a ruin, however defaced, have been 
gathered singly, and cast into heaps, as if they were 
heaps of a field, and not the remains of a capital. The 
ground has been cleared of them in various places, to 
form the gardens or patches of cultivated ground pos- 
sessed by the inhabitants of the wretched village which 
stands on the extremity of the site of the ancient city. 
The stones, as if in a field or vineyard, have manifestly 
been gathered up in heaps, to prepare the ground for 
being sown or planted. Of all the glory of the royal 
«ity of Samaria, nothing greater remains than an heap 
9f tlie field. But onlv a small portion of it now rests 


where its crown of pride rose high ; for it is farther 

/ will pour down the stones tliereof into the valley^ &c. 
The road which ascends the hill of Samaria is enclosed 
on both sides by stones, so rudely piled up, that they 
may be said to be heaped rather than to be built. Yet 
all the way they testify, that the stones which once 
formed Samaria have been cast down. They have evi- 
dently pertained to ancient buildings, for broken capi- 
tals and. pedestals, and other fragments of columns and 
of hewn stones, may be seen lying confusedly together. 
And not there only, but all along the sloping sides of the 
hill, from its summit to its base, lie many stones, of va- 
rious forms, and fragments of columns, whose form or 
massiveness has stayed their course, manifestly showing 
that they have been cast down, and could not of them- 
selves have fallen where they lie. The progress of the 
stones of Samaria, when cast down hy the hand, or 
poured down into the valley, may be traced the whole 
way, from the site of the city on the top of the hill to 
the very bottom of the valley, where chiefly they abound, 
either partially strewed over it, or gathered into heaps 
among the trees, that the beasts of the field may the 
more freely eat. 

And I will discover the foundations tliereof. Some 
columns now stand alone, without princely buildings, or 
any others, to adorn, of which the only vestige is their 
foundations. These are indeed discovered and laid bare. 
Every stone, even to the foundations, has been cast 
down to the earth, and has been either thrown into a 
heap, as of the field, or poured down into the valley. 
With not the wreck of a ruin, or any stones to cover 
them, the foundations alone remain. But these, in re- 
spect chiefly to the principal buildings, near the now 
monumental columns, are most distinctly seen. They 
lie in lines of ridges, slightly raised above the level of 
the ground, the foundations of the walls being undoubt- 
edly and most easily traced, though overgrown with 
grass ; while, in other instances, the foundations of Sa- 


maria are as plainly seen as when they were first laid, in 
the long parallel lines of the walls of the then future, 
now vanished edifices, in which unholy men of Israel 
kept the statutes of Omri, and broke the commandments 
of their God ; chanted to the sound of the viol, while 
they would not listen to the voice of the prophets ; and 
were at ease in Zion, while they would not mourn for 
the afflictions of Joseph ; and trusted in the mountain 
of Samaria, while those very judgments were sounding 
in their ears, which that mountain itself has not heard 
in vain. 

In those days of Baalim, wherein Israel burnt incense 
to them, and decked herself with jewels, and went after 
her lovers, and forgat the Lord, the citizens of her adopt- 
ed and illegitimate capital, the kine of Bashan, that 
dwelt in the mountain of Samaria, oppressed the poor, 
and crushed the needy, and said unto their masters. 
Bring, and let us drink. The drunkards of Ephraim 
erred through wine, and through strong drink were out 
of the way ; they erred in vision, and stumbled in judg- 
ment, and wrought wo to Israel. " I will cause all her 
mirth to cease, her feast-days, her new-moons, and her 
sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts. I will destroy her 
vines and her fig-trees ; and I will make them a forest, 
and the beasts of the field shall eat them.^''^ And now, 
while Samaria is desolate^ and the days of her iniquity 
have been visited upon her, the beasts of the field browse 
among the trees in the bottom of the valley and on the 
opposite hills ; and on the grassy mounds, — rising one 
above another, that girt the lower part of the hill of Sa- 
maria, and abound also on those that adjoin it, retaining 
the form of terraced vineyards, — the beasts of the field 
now pasture where the vines circled, as in ringlets, 
the head of the fat valley on which Samaria was the 
crown of pride. 

But Samaria has to assume an altered and a smiling 
aspect, when she shall see her native children return to 
her again. " Behold, I will allure her, saith the Lord, 
' Hosea ii. 1 1. 


and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably 
unto her, and I will give her vineyards from hence, and 
the valley of Achor for a door of hope : she shall sing 
there, as in the day of her youth, as in the day when she 
came forth out of the land of Egypt. I will betroth 
thee unto me for ever — in righteousness, and in judg- 
ment, and in loving-kindness, and in mercies, and in 
faithfulness.* Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the 
mountains of Samaria, O virgin of Israel ; the planters 
shall plant, and shall eat them as common things. For 
there shall be a day that the watchmen upon Mount 
Ephraim shall cry. Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion 
unto the Lord our God." The house of Jacob shall pos- 
sess the fields of Samaria."^ And, while the crown of 
pride has been trodden under foot, in that day shall the 
Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of 
beauty, to the residue of his people,'* the remnant of Israel. 
But the predicted fate of Jerusalem has been more 
conspicuously displayed, and more fully illustrated, than 
that of the capital of the ten tribes of Israel. It formed 
the theme of prophecy from the death-bed of Jacob, — 
and as the seat of the government of the children of 
Judah, the sceptre departed not from it till the Messiah 
appeared, on the expiration of seventeen hundred years 
after the death of the Patriarch, and till the period of its 
desolation, prophesied of by Daniel, had arrived. A 
destiny diametrically opposite to the former, then awaited 
it, even for a longer duration ; and ere its greatness was 
gone, even at the very time when it was crowded with 
Jews, from all quarters, resorting to the feast, and when 
it was inhabited by a numerous population dwelling in 
security and peace, its doom was denounced, — that it 
was to be trodden down of the gentiles, till the time jof 
the gentiles should be fulfilled. The time of the gen- 
tiles is not yet fulfilled, and Jerusalem is still trodden 
down of the gentiles. The Jews have often attempted to 
recover it : no distance of space or of time can separate 

' Hosea ii. 14, 15, 19. 2 jgr. xxxi. 5, 6. 

3 Obad. 19. 4 Isa. xxviii. 5. 



it from their affections ; they perform their devotions witV. 
their faces towards it, as if it were the object of their 
worship as well as of their love ; and although their de- 
sire to return be so strong, fixed, and indelible, that every 
Jew, in every generation, counts himself an exile ; yet 
thiey have never been able to rebuild their temple, nor to 
recover Jerusalem from the hands of the gentiles. But 
greater power than that of a proscribed and exiled race 
has been added to their own, in attempting to frustrate 
the counsel that professed to be of God. Julian, the 
emperor of the Romans, not only permitted but invited 
the Jews to rebuild Jerusalem and their temple ; and 
promised to re-establish them in their paternal city. By 
that single act, more than by all his writings, he might 
have destroyed the credibility of the gospel, and restored 
his beloved but deserted paganism. The zeal of the 
Jews was equal to his own ; and the work was begun 
by laying again the foundations of the temple. In the 
space of three days, Titus had formerly encompassed that 
city with a wall when it was crowded with his enemies ; 
and, instead of being obstructed, that great work, when it 
was confirmatory of an express prediction of Jesus, was 
completed with an astonishing celerity ; — and what could 
hinder the emperor of Rome from building a temple at 
Jerusalem, when every Jew was zealous for the work ? 
Nothing appeared against it but a single sentence uttered, 
some centuries before, by one who had been crucified. 
If that word had been of man, would all the power of 
the monarch of the world have been thwaited in oppos- 
ing it ? And why did not Julian, with all his inveterate 
enmity and laborious opposition to Christianity, execute a 
work so easy and desirable ? A heathen historian re- 
lates, that fearful balls of fire, bursting from the earth, 
sometimes burned the workmen, rendered the place in- 
accessible, and caused them to desist from the under- 
taking.* The same narrative is attested by others. 

1 "Imperii sui memoriara magnitudine operum gestiens propa- 
gare, ambitiosum quondam apud Hierosolymam templum, quod, 
post multa et interneciva certamina obsidente Vespasiano, pos- 


Chrysostom, who was a living witness, appealed to the 
existing state of the foundations, and to the universal 
testimony which was given of the fact. And an eminent 
modern traveller, who visited, and who minutely exa- 
mined the spot, testifies that " there seems every reason for 
believing, that in the reticulated remains still visible on 
the site of the temple, is seen a standing memorial of 
Julian's discomfiture."^ While destitute of this addi- 
tional confirmation of its truth, the historical evidence 
was too strong even for the skepticism of Gibbon alto- 
gether to gainsay ; and brought him to the acknowledg- 
ment that such authority must astonish an incredulous 
mind. Even independently of the miraculous interposi- 
tion, the fulfilment is the same. The attempt was made 
avowedly, and it was abandoned without any apparent 
cause. It was never accomplished ; and the prophecy 
stands fulfilled. But even if the attempt of Julian had 
never been made, the truth of the prophecy itself is un- 
assailable. The Jews have never been reinstated in Ju- 
dea. Jerusalem has ever been trodden down of the 
gentiles. The edict of Adrian was renewed by the suc- 
cessors of Julian ; and no Jews could approach unto 
Jerusalem but by bribery or by stealth. It was a spot 
unlawful for them to touch. In the crusades, all the 
power of Europe was employed to rescue Jerusalem from 
the heathens, but equally in vain. It has been trodden 
down for nearly eighteen centuries by its successive mas- 

teaque Tito, cegre est expugnatum, instaurare sumptibus cogitabat 
immodicis; negotiumque maturandum Alypio dederat Antiochen- 
si, qui olim Britannias curaverat pro prcefectis. Cum itaque rei 
eidem instaret Alypius, juvaretque provincise rector, metuendi 
globi flammarum, prope fundamenta, crebris assuitibus erumpen- 
tes, fecere locum exustis aliquoties operantibus inaccessum ; hoc- 
que modo, elemento destinatius repellente, cessavit inceptum." 
(Ammian. Marcell. lib. xxii. cap. i. § 2, 3. Grot, de Ver. &c. Ru- 
fini Hist, Eccles. lib. i. c. xxxvii. Socrat. lib. ii. c. xvii. Theo- 
doret. lib. iii. c. xvii. Sozomen. lib. v. c. xxi. Cassiodor. Hist. 
Tripart. lib. vi. c. xliii. Nicephor. Callis. lib. x. c. xxxii. Greg 
Nazianz. in Julian. Orat. ii. Chrysostom. de L. Bab. Mart, et con- 
tra Judaeos, iii. p. 491. Lind. — Vide Am. Mar. tom. iii. p. 2.) 
' Clarke's Travels, vol. ii. note 1, at the end of the volume. 


ters ; by Romans, Grecians, Persians, Saracens, Mame- 
lukes, Turks, Christians ; and again by the worst of 
rulers, the Arabs and the Turks. And could any thing be 
more improbable to have happened, or more impossible 
,to have been foreseen by man, than that any people 
shpuld be banished from their OAvn capital and country, 
and remain expelled and expatriated for nearly eighteen 
hundred years ? Did the same fate ever befall any nation, 
though no prophecy existed respecting it ? Is there any 
doctrine in Scripture so hard to be believed as was this 
single fact at the period of its prediction ? And even 
with the example of the Jews before us, is it likely, or 
is it credible, or who can foretell, that the present inha- 
bitants of any country upon earth shall be banished into 
all nations, — retain their distinctive character, — meet 
with an unparalleled fate, — continue a people, — without 
a government and without a country, — and remain for 
an indefinite period, exceeding seventeen hundred years, 
till the fulfilment of a prescribed event to be accom- 
plished after so many generations ? Must not the know- 
ledge of such truths be derived from that Prescience alone 
which scans alike the will and the ways of mortals, the 
actions of future nations, and the history of the latest 
generations ? 

Jerusalem was the city which the Lord did choose to 
place his name there ; and he loved the gates of Zion 
more than all the dwellings of Judah. But while the 
land has been defiled, and the people have been scat- 
tered abroad, and Jerusalem has been trodden down of 
the gentiles, Zion also has been filled with judgment ! 
Togefher with the other holy places, it has been defiled. 
The abomination of desolation was set up in the holy 
place. The monuments of idolatry occupied the place 
of the sanctuary of the Lord. And the mosque of Omar 
was built where the temple of Solomon had stood. " A 
ploughshare was drawn over the consecrated ground ;" 
and to this day Zion, as was foretold, is ploughed over as 
afield, " At the time when I visited this sacred ground," 
says Dr. Richardson, " one part of it supported a crop 


of barley, another was undergoing tfie labour of the 
plough, and the soil turned up consisted of stone and 
lime mixed with earth, such as is usually met with in 
the foundations of ruined cities. It is nearly a mile in 
circumference. We have here another remarkable in- 
stance of the special fulfilment of prophecy ; therefore 
shall Zion for your sakes be ploughed as a feld.^^ Mic. 
iii. 12 ; Jer. xxvi. 18.^ 

But though a ploughshare did pass over the conse- 
crated ground, as a sign of perpetual interdiction, Zion 
shall be redeemed with judgment, and they that return 
of her with righteousness. The Lord is jealous for Zion : 
and will return unto it. There is a coming year of re- 
compenses for the controversy of Zion. Thou, O Lord, 
shalt arise and have mercy upon Zion : for the time to 
favour her, yea, the set time, is come. For thy servants 
take pleasure in>her stones, and favour the dust thereof. 
So the heathen shall fear the name of the Lord, and all 
the kings of the earth thy glory. When the Lord shall 
build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory. He will 
regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their 
prayer. This shall he written for the generation to come; 
and the people which shall be created shall praise the 
Lord." Ps. cii. 13, &c. The place of the sanctuary of 
the Lord shall yet be beautified. Jerusalem, not Rome, 
shall be the eternal city. For thus it is written, " The 
sons of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto 
thee ; and all they that despised thee shall bow them- 
selves down at the soles of thy feet ; and they shall call 
thee the city of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of 
Israel. Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so 
that no man went through thee ; I will make thee an 
eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. I, the 
Lord, will hasten it in his time." Isa. Ix. 14, &c. 

But the prophecies are not confined to the land of 

Judea ; they are equally unlimited in their range over 

space as over time. After a lapse of many ages, the 

countries around Judea are now beginning to be known. 

' Richardson's Travels, p. .349. 


150 AMMON. 

And each succeeding traveller, in the communication 
of new discoveries concerning them, is gradually unfold- 
ing the very description which the prophets gave of their 
poverty and desolation, at the time of their great pros- 
perity and luxuriance. The countries of the Ammonites, 
of the Moabites, of the Edomites, or inhabitants of Idu- 
mea, and of the Philistines, all bordered with Judea, and 
each is the theme of prophecy. The relative positions 
of them all are distinctly defined in Scripture, and have 
been clearly ascertained.* And the territories of the an- 
cient enemies of the Jews, long overrun by the enemies 
of Christianity, present many a proof of the inspiration 
of the Jewish Scriptures, and of the truth of the Chris- 
tian religion. 


The country anciently peopled by the Ammonites, is 
situated to the east of Palestine, and is now possessed 
partly by the Arabs and by the Turks. It is naturally 
one of the most fertile provinces of Syria, and it was for 
many ages one of the most populous. The Ammonites 
often invaded the land of Israel: and at one period, 
united with the Moabites, they retained possession of a 
great part of it, and grievously oppressed the Israelites 
for the space of eighteen years. Jephthah repulsed 
them, and took twenty of their cities ; but they continued 
afterwards to harass the borders of Israel, and their capi- 
tal was besieged by the forces of David, and their 
country rendered tributary. They regained and long 
maintained their independence, till Jotham, the king of 
Judah, subdued them, and exacted from them an annual 
tribute of a hundred talents, and thirty thousand quarters 

' Relandi Palaestina Illustrata; D'Anville's Map; Maps in 
Volney's, Burckhardt's, and Buckingham's Travels ; Wells' 
Scripture Geography ; Gibbon's History ; Shaw's Travels, &c. 

AMMON. 151 

of wheat and barley ; yet they soon contested again with 
their ancient enemies, and exulted in the miseries that 
befell them, when Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem, and 
carried its inhabitants into captivity. In after times, 
though successively oppressed by the Chaldeans, (when 
some of the earliest prophecies respecting it were ful- 
filled,) and by the Egyptians and Syrians, Ammon was 
a highly productive and populous country, when the 
Romans became masters of all the provinces of Syria ; 
and several of the ten allied cities, which gave name to 
the celebrated Decapolis, were included within its boun- 
daries. Even when first invaded by the Saracens, (a. d. 
632,) " this country (including Moab) w^as enriched by 
the various benefits of trade ; by the vigilance of the 
emperors it was covered with a line of forts, and the 
populous cities of Gerasa, Philadelphia, (Ammon,) and 
Bosra, were secure, at least from a surprise, by the solid 
structure of their walls. Twelve thousand horse could 
sally from the gates of Bosra," &c.^ Volney bears wit- 
ness, " that in the immense plains of the Hauran, ruins 
are continually to be met with, and that what is said of 
its actual fertility perfectly corresponds with the idea 
given of it in the Hebrew writings."^ The fact of its 
natural fertility is corroborated by every traveller who 
has visited it. And " it is evident," says Burckhardt, 
" that the whole country must have been extremely well 
cultivated, in order to have afforded subsistence to the 
inhabitants of so many towns,"^ as are now visible only 

1 Gibbon's Hist. vol. ix. c. 51, p. 383. 

2 Volney's Travels, vol. ii. p. 299. 

3 Burckhardt's Travels in Syria, p. 357. 

Having frequent occasion, in the subsequent pages, to refer to 
the authority of the celebrated and lamented traveller, J. Lewis 
Burckhardt, the following ample testimonies to his talents, perse- 
verance, and veracity, will show with what perfect confidence his 
statements may be relied on, especially as the subject of the ful- 
filment of prophecy, being never once alluded to in all his writ- 
ings, seems to have been wholly foreign to his view, as well as 
to theirs who, without partiality, have thus appreciated his la- 
bours. " He was a traveller of no ordinary description, a gen 

152 AMMON. 

in their ruins. While the fruitfulness of the land of Am 
mon, and the high degree of prosperity and power in 
which it subsisted, long prior and long subsequent to the 
date of the predictions, are thus indisputably established 
by historical evidence, and by existing proofs, the re- 
searches of recent travellers (who were actuated by the 
meYe desire of exploring these "regions, and obtaining 
geographical information) have made known its present 
aspect ; and testimony the most clear, unexceptionable, 
and conclusive, has been borne to the state of dire deso- 
lation to which it is and has long been reduced. 

It was prophesied concerning Ammon, " Son of man, 
set thy face against the Ammonites, and prophesy against 
them. I will make Rabbah of the Ammonites a stable 
for camels, and a couching-place for flocks. Behold, I 
will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and will dehver 
thee for a spoil to the heathen ; and I will cut thee off 
from the people, and I will cause thee to perish out of 
the countries; I will destroy thee.. The Ammonites 
shall not be remembered among the nations. Rabbah 

tleman by birth, and a scholar by 'education ; he added to the 
ordinary acquirements of a traveller, accomplishments which fit- 
ted him for any society. His description of the countries through 
which he passed, his narrative of incidents, his transactions with 
the natives, are all placed before us with equal clearness and 
simplicity. In every page they will find that ardour of research, 
that patience of investigation, that passionate pursuit after truth, 
for which he was eminently distinguished." (Quarterly Review, 
vol. xxii. p. 437.) " He appears from his books and letters, to 
have been a modest, laborious, learned, and sensible man, exempt 
from prejudice, unattached to systems ; detailing what he saw plainly 
and correctly, and of very prudent and discreet conduct." (Edin- 
burgh Review, number Ixvii. p. 109.) The following extract 
from General Straton's manuscript Travels was written at Cairo, 
and is the more valuable, as containing the result of personal 
knowledge and observation : " Burckhardt speaks Arabic per- 
fectly, has adopted the costume, and goes to the religious places 
of worship ; has been at Mecca ; in short, follows in every thing 
the Turkish manners and customs, and he is not to be distinguish- 
ed from a Mussulman. With what advantage must he travel ! 
He is by birth a Swiss, but having been educated in England, 
speaks our language perfectly." 

AMMON. 153 

(the chief city), of the Ammonites shall be a desolate 
heap. Amraon shall be a perpetual desolation."^ 

^mmon was to be delivered to be a spoil to the heathen^ 
to be destroyed J and to be a perpetual desolation. " All 
this country, formerly so populous and flourishing, is 
now changed into a vast desert."^ Ruins are seen in 
every direction. The country is divided between the 
Turks and the Arabs, but chiefly possessed by the latter. 
The extortions of the one, and the depredations of the 
other, keep it in perpetual desolation, and make it a spoil 
to the heathen. " The far greater part of the country is 
uninhabited, being abandoned to the wandering Arabs, 
and the towns and villages are in a state of total ruin."* 
" At every step are to be found the vestiges of ancient 
cities, the remains of many temples, public edifices, and 
Greek churches."-' The cities are desolate. "Many 
of the ruins present no objects of any interest. They 
consist of a few walls of dwelling-houses, heaps of 
stones, the foundations of some public edifices, and a 
few cisterns filled up ; there is nothing entire, but it ap- 
pears that the mode of building was very solid, all the 
remains being formed of large stones. — In the vicinity 
of Ammon there is a fertile plain interspersed with 
low hills, which for the greater part are covered with 
ruins. "^ 

While the country is thus despoiled and desolate, 
there are valleys and tracts throughout it, which " are 
covered with a fine coat of verdant pasture, and are 
places of resort to the Bedouins, where they pasture 
their camels and their sheep. "^ " The whole way we 
traversed," says Seetzen, " we saw villages in ruins, 
and met numbers of Arabs with their camels," &c. Mr. 
Buckingham describes a building among the ruins of 
Ammon, " the masonry of which was evidently con- 

' Ezek. XXV. 2, 5, 7, 10, xxi. 32 ; Jer. xlix. 2 ; Zeph. ii. 9. 

2 Seetzen's Travels, p. 34. ^ Seetzen's Travels, p. 37 

4 Burckhardl's Travels in Nubia, Introd. pp. 37, 38, 44. 

* Burckhardl's Travels in Syria, pp. 355, 357, 364. 

6 Buckingham's Travels in Palestine, &c., p. 329. , 

154 AMMON. 

structed of materials gathered from the ruins of other 
and older buildings on the spot. On entering it at the 
south end," he adds, " we came to an open square 
court, with arched recesses on each side, the sides nearly 
facing the cardinal points. The recesses in the northern 
and southern wall were originally open passages, and 
had arched doorways facing each'Other ; but the first of 
these was found wholly closed up, and the last was par- 
tially filled up, leaving only a narrow passage, just suf- 
ficient for the entrance of one man, and of the goats, 
which the Arab keepers drive in here occasionally for 
shelter during the night." He relates that he lay down 
among flocks of sheep and goats, close beside the ruins 
of Ammon ; and particularly remarks that, during the 
night, he was almost entirely prevented from sleeping 
by the bleating of flocks.* So literally true is it, al- 
though Seetzen, and Burckhardt, and Buckingham, who 
relate the facts, make no reference or allusion whatever 
to any of the prophecies, and travelled for a different 
object than the elucidation of the Scriptures, that the 
chief city of the Ammonites is a stable for camels^ and a 
couching place for flocks. 

The Ammonites shall not he remembered among the 
nations. While the Jews, who were long their heredi- 
tary enemies, continue as distinct a people as ever, 
though dispersed among all nations, no trace of the Am- 
monites remains, none are now designated by their 
name, nor do any claim descent from them. They did 
exist, however, long after the time when the eventful 
annihilation of their race was foretold, for they retained 
their name, and continued a great multitude until the 
second century of the Christian era.^ Yet they are cut 
off from the people. Ammon has perished out of the 
countries ; it is destroyed. No people is attached to its 
soil ; none regard it as their country and adopt its name ; 

' Buckingham's Travels among the Arab Tribes, under the 
title of Ruins of Ammon, pp. 72, 73, &c. 
2 Justin Martyr, p. 392, edit. Thirl. 

AMMON. 155 

and the Ammonites are not rem£mbered among the na- 

Rabbah (Rabbah Ammon, the chief city of Ammon) 
shall be a desolate heap. Situated as it was, on each 
side of the borders of a plentiful stream, encircled by a 
fruitful region, strong by nature and fortified by art, 
nothing could have justified the suspicion, or warranted 
the conjecture in the mind of an uninspired mortal, that the 
royal city of Ammon, whatever disasters might possibly 
befall it in the fate of war or change of masters, would ever 
undergo so total a transmutation as to become a desolate 
heap. But although, in addition to such tokens of its 
continuance as a city, more than a thousand years had 
given uninterrupted experience of its stability, ere the 
prophets of Israel denounced its fate ; yet a period of 
equal length has now marked it out, as it exists to this 
day, a desolate heap, a perpetual or permanent desola- 
tion. Its ancient name is still preserved by the Arabs ; 
and its site is now " covered with the ruins of private 
buildings, nothing of them remaining except the founda- 
tions and some of the door-posts. The buildings ex- 
posed to the atmosphere are all in decay,"* so that they 
may be said literally to form a desolate heap. The pub- 
lic edifices, which once strengthened or adorned the 
city, after a long resistance to decay, are now also deso- 
late ; and the remains of the most entire among them, 
subjected as they are to the abuse and spoliation of the 
wild Arabs, can be adapted to no better object than 
a stable for camels. Yet these broken walls and ruined 
palaces, which attest the ancient splendour of Ammon, 
can now, by means of a single act of reflection, or 
simple process of reasoning, be made subservient to a far 
nobler purpose than the most magnificent edifices on 
earth can be, when they are contemplated as monuments 
on which the historic and prophetic truth of Scripture is 
blended in one bright inscription. A minute detail of 
them may not therefore be uninteresting. 

Seetzen, whose indefatigable ardour led him, in defi- 
' Burckhardt's Travels in Syria, p. 359, 360. 

156 AMMON. 

ance of danger, the first to explore the countries which 
lie east of the Jordjin, and east and south of the Dead 
Sea, or the territories of Ammon, Moab, and Edom. 
justly characterizes Ainmon as " once the residence of 
many kings, — an ancient town, which flourished long 
before the Greeks and Romans, and even before the 
Hebrews;''* and he chiefly enumerates those remains 
of ancient greatness and splendour which are most 
distinguishable amidst its ruins. " Although this town 
has been destroyed and deserted for many ages, I still 
found there some remarkable ruins, which attest its 
ancient splendour. Such as, 1st, A square building, 
very highly ornamented, which has been perhaps a 
mausoleum. 2dly, The ruins of a large palace. 3dly, 
A magnificent amphitheatre of immense size, and well 
preserved, with a peristyle of Corinthian pillars without 
pedestals. 4th, A temple with a great number of co- 
lumns. 5th, The ruins of a large church, perhaps the 
see of a bishop in the time of the Greek emperors. 6th, 
The remains of a temple with columns set in a circular 
form, and which are of an extraordinary size. 7th, The 
remains of the ancient wall,, with many other edifices."^ 
Burckhardt, who afterwards visited the spot, describes 
it with greater minuteness. He gives a plan of the 
ruins ; and particularly noted the ruins of many temples, 
of a spacious church, a curved wall, a high arched 
bridge, the banks and bed of the river still partially 
paved ; a large theatre, with successive tiers of apart- 
ments excavated in the rocky side of a hill ; Corinthian 
columns, fifteen feet high ; the castle, a very extensive 
building, the walls of which are thick, and denote a 
remote antiquity ; many cisterns and vaults ; and a plain 
covered with the decayed ruins of private buildings f — 
monuments of ancient splendour standing amidst a deso- 
late heap. 

' A brief account of the countries adjoining the Lake of Tibe- 
rias, the Jordan, and the Dead Sea, by M. Seetzen, Conseiller 
d'Ambassade de S. M. I'Empereur de Russe, p. 35, 36. 

2 Seetzen's Travels, pp. 35, 36. 

^ Burckhardt's Travels in Syria, p. 3.58, &c. 

AMMON. 157 

More recent travellers, with this treatise in their hands, 
or with the full knowledge of these prophecies, have 
visited Ammon ; and the testimony to the predicted 
facts, first unconsciously given, has been repeated and 
corroborated by those who have personally testified, as 
they consciously witnessed, the fulfilment of the pro- 

" The wonderful fulfilment of the prophecies," Lord 
Claud Hamilton observes, *^ is an interesting subject of 
observation in this country." " The Ammonites shall 
not be remembered among the nations. Rabbah of the 
Ammonites shall be a desolate heap. Ammon shall be 
a perpetual desolation. I will make Rabbah of the Am- 
monites a stable for camels, and a couching place for 
flocks." And while he was traversing the ruins of the 
city, the number of goats and sheep which were driven 
in among them was annoying, however remarkable in 
fulfilling the prophecies. 

" The dreariness of its (Ammon's) present aspect," 
says Lord Lindsay, " is quite indescribable ; it looks 
like the abode of death ; the valley stinks with dead 
camels, one of which was rolling in the stream ; and 
though we saw none among the ruins, they were abso- 
lutely covered in every direction with their dung. That 
morning's ride would have convinced a skeptic. How 
runs the prophecy ? ' I will make Rabbah a stable for 
camels,' " &c.* " Ammon is now quite deserted, ex- 
cept by the Bedouins, who water their flocks at its little 
river, &c. W'e met sheep and goats by thousands, and 
camels by hundreds, coming down to drink, all in beau- 
tiful condition."^ 

The " royal city" of the Ammonites withstood a hard- 
pressed siege, in the days of David, king of Israel, who 
himself fought against it, and finally took it. And under 
the name of Philadelphia, after an interval of upwards 
of sixteen hundred years, it was a strong and populous 
city w^hen the Saracens invaded the eastern empire. 

Its Acropolis, long its chief stronghold, is still con- 

• Lord Lindsay's Travels, vol. ii. p. 75. 2 j^i^, yoi. ii. p. 117. 

158 AMMON. 

spicuous among its ruins. It stands, as described by 
Lord Claud Hamilton, "on an isolated hill to the north 
of the town. Its walls are high, very well built, and in 
many parts in good preservation ; but within, the ruins, 
rubbish, and herbage, have grown nearly to their level 
Thp chief of these ruins are those of a temple, which 
was once adorned with a portico 'and peristyle of grand 
Corinthian columns, all now prostrate ; but their massive 
remains, immense capitals, and large pediments, attest 
their former magnificence. Of one of the most perfect 
of these, the shaft alone, without pediment or capital, is 
thirty-three feet in length, and four feet and a half in 
diameter." But the Acropolis, no less than the city, 
presents its illustrations of the word of the Lord. 
" There is a small stone building quite entire, now used 
as a shelter for flocks, of which there are many. And 
without the walls, as otherwise within them, nothing re- 
mains but scattered materials of former habitations, now 
partially concealed by the flowers and grass. 

" Leaving the Acropolis, we descended, and, cross- 
ing the stream, on the northern bank of which, among 
other remains, are those of an Ionic colonnade, we pro- 
ceeded to the farthest ruins. The most remote of these 
is a small theatre, evidently intended for scenic repre- 
sentations, as the space behind the proscenium was en- 
closed, and formed part of the building. Three pas- 
sages remained as perfect as when they were formed, 
and they opened upon the stage by three arches. There 
were likewise side entrances, and communicating pas- 
sages well adapted for theatrical purposes. The prosce- 
nium was very handsomely ornamented ; above the three 
arches ran a rich frieze of Corinthian decorations most 
beautifully carved, and perfectly uninjured ; above were 
three niches for statues ; the seats were on both sides 
perfect, but the centre forming the stage has been thrown 
down. There were three entrances by handsome arches, 
which brought the spectators to a broad landing-place, 
halfway up the rows of seats, and two smaller arches, 
which probably served for entrances to the seats of 

AMMON. 159 

honour, which here, as at Pompeii, were close to the 
stage. The theatre is remarkably well built, and is 
composed of very handsome stone ; from without there 
are three entrances to the scenes, and four niches for 
statues, two between the doors, and two flanking them. 

" The great theatre, near the other, is a grand edifice : 
it is scooped out of the side of the hill, being partly 
composed of the living rock, but chiefly of masonry. 
This theatre must have been intended for games and 
other exercises in open air, as, instead of the enclosed 
passages and covered chambers behind the stage, there 
is only an open colonnade of handsome Corinthian 
columns, which extend from one extreme to the other 
of the rows of seats. Within the colonnade is an exten- 
sive arena, of a horse-shoe form, 128 feet from seat to seat. 
Forty-three rows of seats extend to a great height, and 
are separated into three tiers by broad landing-places : 
seven radii of smaller steps admitted the spectators to 
their several seats, and each tier has several recesses. 
The second tier has doors communicating to a high 
arched passage, which runs round the theatre, and opens 
upon a side staircase, by which means the crowd could 
be divided ; back staircases also mount from these pas- 
sages to the upper tier, so as to enable the more humble 
spectators to gain and leave their seats without incom- 
moding their richer neighbours below. In the centre 
of the uppermost bench is excavated a square chamber, 
with a beautifully carved cornice, having an elegant 
niche of the shell pattern on each side. There is, as 
usual in all ancient theatres, an arch entering upon the 
arena on each side where the seats terminate, reaching 
the proscenium. 

" Of the other principal ruins a more slight notice 
may be given. A grand building, once apparently of 
an octagonal form, has still four of its sides T)eifect, 
which contain a grand alcove, and threp lesser recesses. 
A colonnade of large Corinthian pillars was once ranged 
within it, but what purpose it served, there are no 
means of ascertaining. Heaps of ruins lie around it in 

160 AMMON. 

bewildering confusion. Near to it are large houses, 
divided into many apartments, and a more modern 
church in good preservation ; but all are alike deserted, 
though little labour would restore some of these build- 
ings, not to their pristine glory, but to useful dwellings. 
And, passing from these, other juins are numerous but 
uninteTesting. But the remains yet standing of one 
grand temple are sufficient to exhibit its former magnifi- 
cence, surrounded as it was by lofty columns, some of 
which are still entire. A noble alcove, richly wrought, 
containing niches, and supported by pilasters, is yet per- 
fect, a beautiful specimen of the riches of ornament, and 
fine finish of the corners. And near to the ruinous town 
is a Httle fane, square without, but circular within, both 
sides being most richly decorated with frieze comers 
and pilasters of the Corinthian order. Four niches 
within are equally elaborately carved. It is divided 
into square apartments, each containing a variety of rich 
and elegant ornaments ; and an open arch, which forms 
the entrance, has the most beautifully carved ceiling 
which I ever saw."* 

Such is now the once royal city of Ammon. Nume- 
rous ruins, and heaps in bewildering confusion, show 
how it has become a desolate heap. But this is not now 
its only feature. Some buildings in good preservation, 
and others still perfect, whatever purpose they may have 
been constructed to serve, fulfil now the purpose which, 
long before their erection, the prophet assigned them. 
Arches, of old trodden by the lovers of pleasure, of high 
or of low degree, unbroken by time, which has laid the 
gay flutterers in the dust, are now promiscuously crowd- 
ed by beasts ; and where nobles were before kept from 
contact with their fellows, the pilgrim traveller in a de- 
solate land now has cause to complain of the annoyance 
of flocks. It was not for them that arches, sculptured 
with exquisite art, and almost unrivalled beauty, were 
erected ; nor to shelter them that walls which, uninjured, 
have endured for ages, were built ; nor did stables for 
' Iiord Claud Hamilton's Journai. 

MOAB. 161 

camels, and couching-places for flocks, enter into the 
design of the architects of the palaces, theatres, or tem- 
ples of Ammon, nor of the sculptors of their beautifully 
carved cornices and ceilings, and grand columns and 
alcoves. But He who saw the end from the beginning, 
declared it, ere ever one of these edifices of Grecian 
architecture was constructed, or the foundation of any 
of them was laid, or the plan of any of them was 
thought of; the appointed doom, and destiny, and use 
to which they have been brought, were delineated by 
the prophets ; and as Ammon was taken by David, so 
also, in a higher sense, it is now held captive by the 
word of the Lord, and awaits the time when the children 
of Israel shall be restored, and the Lord, in the latter 
days, shall bring again the captivity of Ammon 


The prophecies concerning Moab are more numerous 
and not less remarkable. Those of them which met 
their completion in ancient times, and which related to 
particular events in the history of the Moabites, and to 
the result of their conflict with the Jews or any of the 
neighbouring states, however necessary they may have 
been at the time for strengthening the faith or supporting 
the courage of the children of Israel, need not now be 
adduced in evidence of inspiration ; for there are abun- 
dant predictions which refer so clearly to decisive and 
unquestionable facts, that there is scarcely a single fea- 
ture peculiar to the land of Moab, as it now exists, 
which was not marked by the prophets in their delinea- 
tion of the low estate to which, from the height of its 
wickedness and haughtiness, it was finally to be brought 

"Against Moab thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God 

163 MOAB. 

of Israel, Wo unto Nebo ! for it is spoiled ; Kiriathaim 
is confounded and taken ; Misgab is confounded and 
dismayed. There shall be no more praise of Moab. 
And the spoiler shall come upon every city, and no city 
shall escape : the valley also shall perish, and the plain 
shall be destroyed, as the Lord hath spoken. Give 
wings unto Moab, that it may flee and get away ; for 
the cities thereof shall be desolate, without any to dwell 
therein. Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and 
he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied 
from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity. 
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will send 
unto him wanderers that shall cause him to wander. 
How is the strong staff broken, and the beautiful rod ! 
Thou daughter that dost inhabit Dibon, come down 
from thy glory, and sit in thirst ; for the spoiler of Moab 
shall come upon thee, and he shall destroy thy strong- 
holds. Moab is confounded, for it is broken down. 
Moab is spoiled. And judgment is come upon the plain 
country; upon Holon, and upon Jahazah, and upon Me- 
phaath, and upon Dibon, and upon Nebo, and upon 
Beth-diblathaim ; and upon Kiriathaim, and upon Beth- 
gamul, and upon Bethmeon, and upon Kerioth, and 
upon Bozrah, and upon all the cities of the land of 
Moab, far or near. The horn of Moab is cut off, and 
his arm is broken, saith the Lord. ye that dwell in 
Moab, leave the cities and dwell in the rock, and be 
like the dove that maketh her nest in the sides of the 
hole's mouth. We have heard the pride of Moab, (he 
is exceeding proud,) his loftiness, and his arrogancy, 
and his pride, and the haughtiness of his heart. And 
joy and gladness is taken from the plentiful field, and 
from the land of Moab ; and I have caused wine to fail 
from the wine-presses ; none shall tread with shouting ; 
their shouting shall be no shouting. From the cry of 
Heshbon even unto Elealeh, and even unto Jahaz, have 
they uttered their voice, from Zoar even unto Horonaim ; 
the waters also of Nimrim shall be desolate. I have 
broken Moab like a vessel wherein is no pleasure. They 

MOAB. 163 

shall cry, how is it broken down ! And Moab shall be 
destroyed from being a people, because he hath magni- 
fied himself against the Lord. The cities of Aroer are 
forsaken ; they shall be for flocks, which shall he down, 
and none shall make them afraid. Moab shall be a 
perpetual desolation."* 

The land of Moab lay to the east and south-east of 
Judea, and bordered on the east, north-east, and partly 
on the south of the Dead Sea. Its early history is nearly 
analogous to that of Ammon ; and the soil, though per- 
haps more diversified, is, in many places where the 
desert and plains of salt have not encroached on its 
borders, of equal fertility. There are manifest and 
abundant vestiges of its ancient greatness. " The 
whole of the plains are covered with the sites of towns, 
on every eminence or spot convenient for the construc- 
tion of one. And as the land is capable of rich cultiva- 
tion, there can be no doubt that the country, now so 
deserted, once presented a continued picture of plenty 
and fertility. "3 The form of fields is still visible : and 
there are the remains of Roman highways, which in 
some places are completely paved, and on which there 
are mile-stones of the times of Trajan, Marcus AureHus, 
and Severus, with the number of the miles legible upon 
them. Wherever any spot is cultivated, the corn is 
luxuriant ; and the richness of the soil cannot perhaps be 
more clearly illustrated than by the fact, that one grain 
of Heshbon wheat exceeds in dimensions two of the 
ordinary sort, and more than double the number of grains 
grow on the stalk. The frequency, and almost, in many 
instances, the close vicinity of the sites of the ancient 
towns, " prove that the population of the country was 
formerly proportioned to its natural fertility."^ Such 
evidence may surely suffice to prove, that the country 
was well cultivated and peopled at a period so long 

' Jer. xlviii. 1, 2, 8, 9, 11, 12, 17, 18, 20—25, 28, 29, 33, 34, 38 
39, 42 ; Isa. xvii. 2 ; Zeph. ii. 9. 

2 Captains Irby and Mangles's Travels, p. 378. 

3 Ibid. pp. 377, 378, 456, 460. 

164 MOAB. 

posterior to the date of the predictions, that no cause 
less than supernatural could have existed at the time 
when they were delivered, which could have authorized 
the assertion, with the least probability or apparent pos- 
sibility of its truth, that Moab would ever have been 
re4uced to that state of great and permanent desolation 
in which it has continued for so many ages, and which 
vindicates and ratifies to this hour the truth of the scrip- 
tural prophecies. 

The cities of Moab were to be desolate without any to 
dwell therein ; no city loas to escape. Moab was to flee 
away. And the cities of Moab have all disappeared. 
Their place, together with the adjoining part of Idumea,, 
is characterized, in the map of Volney's Travels, by the 
ruins of towns. His information respecting these ruins 
was derived from some of the wandering Arabs ; and its 
accuracy has been fully corroborated by the testimony 
of different European travellers of high respectability 
and undoubted veracity, who have since visited this 
devastated region. The whole country abounds with 
ruins. And Burckhardt, who encountered many diffi- 
culties in so desolater and dangerous a land, thus records 
the brief history of a few of them : " The ruins of Eleale, 
Heshbon, Meon, Medaba, Dibon, Aroer, still subsist to 
illustrate the history of the Beni Israel."^ And it might, 
with equal truth, have been added, that they still sub- 
sist to confirm the inspiration of the Jewish Scriptures, 
or to prove that the seers of Israel were the prophets of 
God, for the desolation of each of these very cities was 
the theme of a prediction. Every thing worthy of ob- 
servation respecting them has been detailed, not only in 
Burckhardt's Travels in Syria, but also by Seetzen, and, 
more recently, by Captains Irby and Mangles, who, along 
with Mr. Bankes and Mr. Legh, visited this deserted 
district. The predicted judgment has fallen with such 
truth upon these cities, and upon all the cities of the 
land of Moab, far and near, and they are so utterly 
bi'oken down, that even the prying curiosity of such in- 
' Burckhardl's Travels in Nubia, introduction, p. 38. 

MOAB. 165 

defatigable travellers could discover, among a multipli- 
city of ruins, only a few remains so entire as to be 
worthy of particular notice. The subjoined description 
is drawn from their united testimony. — Among the ruins 
of El Aal (Eleale) are a number of large cisterns, frag- 
ments of buildings, and foundations of houses. At 
Heshban (Heshbon) are the ruins of a large ancient 
town, together with the remains of a temple, and some 
edifices. A few broken shafts of columns are still stand- 
ing ; and there are a number of deep wells cut in the 
rock.* The ruins of Medaba are about two miles in cir- 
cumference. There are many remains of the walls of 
private houses constructed with blocks of silex, but not 
a single edifice is standing. The chief object of interest 
is an immense tank or cistern of hewn stones, " which, 
as there is no stream at Medaba," Burckhardt remarks, 
" might still be of use to the Bedouins, were the sur- 
rounding ground cleared of the rubbish to allow the 
water to flow into it ; but such an undertaking is far 
beyond the views of the wandering Arabs. ^^ There is 
also the foundation of a temple built with large stones, 
and apparently of great antiquity, with two columns near 
it.2 The ruins of Diban, (Dibon,) situated in the midst 
of a fine plain, are of considerable extent, but present 
nothing of interest.^ The neighbouring hot wells, and 
the similarity of the name, identify the ruins of Myoun 
with Meonj or Beth-meon of Scripture.'* Of this ancient 
city, as well as of Araayr, (Aroer,) notliing is now re- 
markable but what is common to them with all the cities 
of Moab — their entire desolation. The extent of the 
ruins of Rabba (Rabbath-Moab,) formerly the residence 
of the kings of Moab, suflSciently proves its ancient im- 
portance, though no other object can be particularized 

' Burckhardt's Travels in Syria, p. 365. 

2 Burckhardt's Travels, p. 366; Seetzen's Travels, p. 37; Cap 
tains Irby and Mangles's Travels, p. 471. 

3 Captains Irby and-Mangles's Travels, p. 462 ; Seetzen's Tra- 
vels, p. 38. 

'* Burckhardt's Travels, p. 365 ; Irby and Mangles's Travels, 
p. 464. 

166 MOAB. 

among the ruins, except the remains of a palace or tem- 
ple, some of the walls of which are still standing ; a gate 
belonging to another building ; and an insulated altar. 
There are many remains of private buildings, but none 
entire. There being no springs on the spot, the town 
h^d two birkets, the largest of which is cut entirely out 
of the rocky ground, together with many cisterns.* 

Mount JVebo was completely barren when Burckhardt 
passed over it, and the site of the ancient city had not 
been ascertained.'' JVebo is spoiled. 

While the ruins of all these cities still retain their an- 
cient names, and are the most conspicuous amidst the wide 
scene of general desolation, and while each of them was 
in like manner particularized in the visions of the pro- 
phet, they yet formed but a small number of the cities 
of Moab ; and the rest are also, in similar verification of 
the prophecies, desolate, without any to dwell therein. 
Not one of the ancient cities of Moab now exists, as 
tenanted by man. Kerek, which neither bears any re- 
semblance in name to any of the cities of Moab which 
are mentioned as existing in the time of the Israelites, 
nor possesses any monuments which denote a very re- 
mote antiquity, is the only nominal town in the whole 
country ; and, in the words of Seetzen, who visited it, 
" in its present ruined state it can only he called a ham- 
let; and the houses have only one floor. "^ But the 
most populous and fertile province in Europe- (especially 
any situated in the interior of a country like Moab) is 
not covered so thickly with towns as Moab is plentifiil 
m ruins, deserted and desolate though now it be. Burck- 
hardt enumerates about Jifty ruined sites within its 
boundaries, many of them extensive. In general they 
are a broken down and undistinguishable mass of ruins ; 
and many of them have not been closely inspected. But 
in some instances, there are the remains of temples, se- 
pulchral monuments, the ruins of edifices constructed of 

1 Seetzen's Travels, p. 39 ; Burckhardt's Travels, p. 377. 

« Burckhardi's Travels, p. 370. 

3 Burckhardt's Travels, p. 338 ; Seetzen's Travels, p. 39. 

MOAB. 167 

very large stones, in one of which buildings " some of 
the stones are twenty feet in length, and so broad that one 
constitutes the thickness of the wall ;" traces of hanging 
gardens ; entire columns lying on the ground, three feet 
in diameter, and fragments of smaller columns ; and 
many cisterns cut out of the rock. When the towns of 
Moab existed in their prime, and -were at ease, — when 
arrogance and haughtiness and pride prevailed amongst 
them, the desolation and total desertion and abandonment 
of them all must have utterly surpassed all human con- 
ception. And that such numerous cities, which sub- 
sisted for many ages — which were diversified in their 
sites, some of them being built on eminences, and na- 
turally strong, others on plains, and surrounded by the 
richest soil, — some situated in valleys by the side of a 
plentiful stream, and others where art supplied the defi- 
ciencies of nature, and where immense cisterns were ex- 
cavated out of the rock, — and which exhibit in their 
ruins many monuments of ancient prosperity, and many 
remains easily convertible into present utility, — should 
have all fled away, all met the same indiscriminate fate, 
and be all desolate without any to dwell therein^ notwith- 
standing all these ancient assurances of their permanent 
durability, and these existing facilities and inducements 
for being the habitations of men, — is a matter of just 
wonder in the present day ; and had any other people 
been the possessors of Moab, the fact would either have 
been totally impossible, or unaccountable. Trying as this 
test of the truth of prophecy is, that is the word of God, 
and not of erring man, which can so well and so triumph- 
antly abide it. They shall cry of Moab, How is it broken 
down ! 

The valley also shall perish, and the plain shall be de- 
stroyed. Moab has often been a field of contest between 
the Arabs and the Turks ; and although the former have 
retained possession of it, both have mutually reduced it 
to desolation. The different tribes of Arabs who tra- 
verse it, not only bear a permanent and habitual hostility 
to Christians and to Turks, but one tribe is often at va- 

168 MOAB. 

nance and at war with another ; and the regular cultiva- 
tion of the soil, or the improvement of those natural 
advantages of which the country is so full, is a matter 
either never thought of, or that cannot be realized. Pro- 
perty is there the creature of power and not of law ; and 
possession forms no security wh^ere plunder is the prefer- 
able right. Hence the extensive plains, where they are not 
partially covered with wood, present a barren aspect, 
which is only relieved at intervals by a few clusters of 
wild fig-trees, that show how the richest gifts of nature de- 
generate when unaided by the industry of man. And instead 
of the profusion which the plains must have exhibited in 
every quarter, nothing but "patches of the best soil in 
the territory are now cultivated by Arabs ;" and these 
only " whenever they have the prospect of being able to 
secure the harvest against the incursions of enemies."* 
The Arab herds now roam at freedom over the valleys 
and the plains ; and " the many vestiges of field enclo- 
sures"" form not any obstruction ; they wander undis- 
turbed around the tents of their masters, over the face 
of the country ; and while the valley is perished^ and the 
plain destroyed, the cities also of Aroer are forsaken; they 
are for flocks which lie down, and none make them afraid. 

The strong contrast between the ancient and the actual 
state of Moab is exemplified in the condition of the in- 
habitants as well as of the land ; and the coincidence 
between the prediction and the fact is as striking in the 
one case as in the other. 

The days come, saith the Lord, that I will send unto 
him {Moab) wanderers that shall cause him to wander, 
and shall empty his vessels. The Bedouin {wandering) 
Arabs are now the chief and almost the only inhabitants 
of a country once studded with cities. Traversing the 
country, and fixing their tents for a short time in one 
place, and then decamping to another, depasturing every 
part successively, and despoiling the whole land of its 
natural produce, they are wanderers who have come up 

» Burckhardt's Travels in Syria, p. 369. 
2 Ibid. p. 365. 

MOAB. 169 

against it, and who keep it in a state of perpetual desola- 
tion. They lead a wandering life ; and the only regu- 
larity they know or practise, is to act upon a systematic 
scheme of spoliation. They prevent any from forming 
a fixed settlement who are inclined to attempt it ; for 
although the fruitfulness of the soil would abundantly 
repay the labour of settlers, and render migration wholly 
unnecessary, even if the population were increased more 
than tenfold ; yet the Bedouins forcibly deprive them of 
the means of subsistence, compel them to search for it 
elsewhere, and, in the words of the prediction, literally 
cause them to wander. " It may be remarked generally 
of the Bedouins," says Burckhardt, in describing their 
extortions in this very country, "that wherever they are 
the masters of the cultivators, the latter are soon re- 
duced to beggary by their unceasing demands."* 

ye that dwell in Moab, leave the cities and dwell in 
the rock, and be like the dove that maketh her nest in the 
sides of the holers mouth. In a general description of 
the condition of the inhabitants of that extensive desert 
which now" occupies the place of these ancient flourish- 
ing states, Volney, in plain but unmeant illustration of 
this prediction, remarks, that " the wretched peasants 
live in perpetual dread of losing the fruit of their labours ; 
and no sooner have they gathered in their harvest, than 
they hasten to secrete it in private places, and retire 
among the rocks which border on the Dead Sea."^ To- 
wards the opposite extremity of the land of Moab, and 
at a little distance from its borders, Seetzen relates that 
there are many families living in caverns; and he 
actually designates them " the inhabitants of the rocks. "^ 
And at the distance of a few miles from the ruined site 
of Heshbon, " there are many artificial caves in a large 
range of perpendicular cliflfs, in some of which are 
chambers and small sleeping apartments."* While the 

1 Burckhardt's Travels in Syria, p. 381. 

2 Volney's Travels, vol. ii. p. 344. 

3 Seetzen's Travels, p. 26. See Monthly Review, vol. Ixxi. p. 405. 
'' Captains Irby and Mangles's Travels, p. 473. 


170 MOAB. 

cities are desolate without any to dwell therein, the 
rocks are tenanted. But whether flocks lie down in the 
former, loithout any to make them afraid, — or whether 
men are to be found dwelling in the latter, and are like 
the dove that maketh her nest in the sides of the hole's 
mouth, — the wonderful transitior\, in either case, and the 
close accordance, in both, of the fact to the prediction, 
assuredly mark it, in characters that may be visible to 
the purblind mind, as the word of that God before whom 
the darkness of futurity is as light, and without whom a 
sparrow cannot fall unto the ground.* 

And although chargeable with the impropriety of be- 
ing somewhat out of place, it may not be here altogether 
improper to remark, that, demonstrative as all these 
clear predictions and coincident facts are of the inspira- 
tion of the Scriptures, it cannot but be gratifying to 
every lover of his kind, when he contemplates that 
desolation, caused by many sins, and fraught with many 

' Another prediction respecting the dwellers in Moab ought not 
perhaps to be passed over in silence, although the terms in which 
it is expressed are not so clear and unambiguous as those to which 
the observations in the text are confined, and although it raa)'^ have 
met its primary fulfilment in a much earlier age. Yet it is so in- 
telligible, that the fact, to which it bears an unrestrained applica- 
tion, may be left as its sole and adequate exposition : and the con- 
tinued truth of the prophecy greatly strengthens, instead of weak- 
ening the evidence of its inspiration. And how is Moab broken 
down and spoiled, when, in lieu of the arrogancy and exceeding 
pride and haughtiness of its ancient inhabitants, the following 
description is characteristic of the wanderers who now possess 
it ! " In the valley of Wale," which is situated in the immediate 
vicinity of the river .>^rnon, into which the Wale flows, Burckhardt 
observed " a large party of Arabs Shererat encamped — Bedouins 
of the Arabian desert, who resort hither in summer for pasturage." 
Being oppressed and hemmed in by other Arab tribes, " they wan- 
der about in misery, have very few horses, and are not able to feed 
any flocks of sheep or goats.— Their tents are very miserable ; 
both men and women go almost naked, the former being only 
covered round the waist, and the women wearing nothing but a 
loose shirt hanging in rags about them." Moab shall be a derision. 
As a wandering bird cast out of the nest, so the daughters of Moab shall 
be at the fords of ArnxoTx. (iBiarckhardt's Travels, pp. 370, 371; 
Jer. xlviii. 89 ; Isa. jcvi. 2.) 


miseries, which the wickedness of man has wrought, 
and which the prescience of God revealed, to know that 
all these prophecies, while they mingle the voice of 
wailing with that of denunciation, are the word of that 
God, who, although he suffers not iniquity to pass un- 
punished, overrules evil for good, and makes the wrath 
of man to praise him, and who in the midst of judg- 
ment can remember mercy. And, reasoning merely from 
the " uniform experience" (to borrow a term, and draw 
an argument from Hume) of the truth of the prophecies 
already fulfilled, the unprejudiced mind will at once per- 
ceive the full force of the truth derived from experience,* 
and acknowledge that it would be a rejection of the 
authority of reason as well as of revelation, to mistrust 
the truth of that prophetic affirmation of resuscitating 
and redeeming import, respecting Ammon and Moab, 
which is the last of the series, and which alone now 
awaits futurity to stamp it with the brilliant and crown- 
ing seal of its testimony. " I will bring again the cap- 
tivity of Moab in the latter days, saith the Lord.^ I 
will bring again the captivity of the children of Ammon, 
saith the Lord.^ The remnant of my people shall pos- 
sess them."* They shall build the old wastes, they shall 
raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the 
waste cities, the desolations of many generations."* 

' "Being determined by custom to transfer the past, to the future 
in all our inferences ; where the past has been entirely regular 
and uniform, we expect the event with the greatest assurance, and 
leave no room for any contrary supposition." (Hume's Essay on 
Probability, vol. ii. p. 61.) 

2 Jer. xlviii. 47. ' Jer. xlix. 6. '' Zeph. ii. 9. 

* Isa. Ixi. 4, Iviii. 12; Ezek. xxxvi. 33, 36. 

172 IDUMEA. 


But a heavier and irreversible doom was deiiounced 
against the land of Edom or Iduinea ; and the testimony 
of an infidel was the first to show how it has been real- 
ized. That testimony, as forming an exposition of 
itself, may, in a primary view of them, be subjoined to 
the prophecies, and must have its due influence on every 
unbiassed mind. There are numerous prophecies re- 
specting Idumea, that bear a literal interpretation, how- 
ever hyperbolical they may appear. " My sword shall 
come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my 
curse, to judgment. From generation to generation it 
shall lie waste ; none shall pass through it for ever and 
ever. But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess 
it ; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it : and he 
shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the 
stones of emptiness. They shall call the nobles thereof 
to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all her 
princes shall be nothing. And thorns shall come up in 
her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof; 
and it shall be a habitation of dragons, and a court for 
owls. The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet 
with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr (or 
hairy creature) shall cry to his fellow ; the screech-owl 
also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest. 
There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and 
hatch, and gather under her shadow: there shall the 
vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate. 
Seek ye out of the book of the Lord, and read ; no one 
of these shall fail, none shall want her mate ; for my 
mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered 
them. And he hath cast the lot for them, and his hand 
hath divided it unto them by line : they shall possess it 
^or ever, from generation to generation shall they dwell 

IDUMEA. 173 

therein.* Concerning Edom, thus saith the Lord of 
hosts, Is wisdom no more in Teman ? is counsel perished 
from the prudent ? I will bring the calamity of Esau 
upon him the time that I will visit him. If grape- 
gatherers come to thee, would they not leave some 
gleaning-grapes ? if thieves by night, they will destroy 
till they have enough. But I have made Esau bare, I 
have uncovered his secret places, and he shall not be 
able to hide himself. Behold, they whose judgment was 
not to drink of the cup have assuredly drunken : and 
art thou he that shall altogether go unpunished ? thou 
shalt not go unpunished, but thou shalt surely drink of 
it. I have sworn by myself, saith the Lord, that Bozrah 
(the strong or fortified city) shall become a desolation, a 
reproach, a waste, and a curse ; and all the cities 
thereof shall be perpetual wastes. Lo, I will make thee 
small among the heathen, and despised among men. 
Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, and the pride of 
thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the 
rock, that boldest the height of the hill : though thou 
shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will 
bring thee down from thence, saith the Lord. Also 
Edom shall be a desolation ; every one that goeth by shall 
be astonished, and shall hiss at all the plagues thereof. 
As in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the 
neighbour cities thereof, saith the Lord, no man shall 
abide there, neither shall a son of man dwell in it.^ 
Thus saith the Lord God, I will stretch out mine hand 
upon Edom, and will cut off man and beast from it ; 
and I will make it desolate from Teman. ^ The word 
of the Lord came unto me, saying. Son of man, set thy 
face against Mount Seir, and prophesy against it, and 
say unto it. Thus saith the Lord God, I will stretch out 
my hand against thee, and I will make thee most deso- 
late. I will lay thy cities waste, and thou shalt be deso- 
late.'* Thus will I make Mount Seir most desolate, and 
cut off from it him that passeth out, and him that retum- 

' Isa. xxxiv. 5, 10—17. 2 jer. xlix. 7—10, 12, 13, 15—18. 

3 Ezek. XXV. 13. ^ Ezek. xxxv. 1—4. 


174 IDUMEA. 

eth.* I will make thee perpetual desolations, and thy 
cities shall not return.* When the whole earth rejoiceth, 
I will make thee desolate. Thou shalt be desolate, O 
Mount Seir, and all Idumea, even all of it ; and they 
shall know that I am the Lord.^ Edom shall be a deso- 
late wilderness.'* For three transgressions of Edom, and 
for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof.* 
Thus saith the Lord concerning Edom, I have made 
thee small among the heathen, thou art greatly despised. 
Tlie pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that 
dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is 
high. Shall I not destroy the wise men out of Edom, 
and understanding out of the mount of Esau ? The 
house of Jacob shall possess their possessions, but there 
shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau.* I 
laid the mountains of Esau and his heritage waste for 
the dragons of the wilderness. Whereas Edom saith, 
We are impoverished, but we will return and build the 
desolate places ; thus saith the Lord of hosts, They shall 
build, but I will throw down ; and they shall call them 
the border of wickedness."^ Is there any country, once 
inhabited and opulent, so utterly desolate? There is, 
and that land is Idumea. The territory of the descend- 
ants of Esau affords as miraculous a demonstration of 
the inspiration of the Scriptures, as the fate of the child- 
ren of Israel. 

Idumea was situated to the south of Judea and of 
Moab ; it bordered on the east with Arabia Petrsea, 
under which name it was included in the latter part of 
its history, and it extended southward to the eastern 
gulf of the Red Sea. A single extract from the Travels 
of Volney will be found to be equally illustrative of the 
prophecy and of the fact. " This country has not hem 
visited by any traveller, but it well merits such an atten- 
tion : for from the report of the Arabs of Bakir, and the 
inhabitants of Gaza, who frequently go to Maan and 

1 Ezek. XXXV. 7. 2 Ezek. xxxv. 9. s Ezek. xxxv. 14, 15. 
" Joel iii. 19. 5 Amos i. 11. e obad. 1— 3, 8, 17, 18. 

^ Mai. i. 3, 4. 

IDUMEA. 175 

Karak, on the road of the pilgrims, there are to the 
south-east of the lake Asphaltites, (Dead Sea,) vnthin 
three days^ journey, upwards of thirty ruined towns a5- 
solutely deserted. Several of them have large edifices, 
with columns that may have belonged to ancient temples, 
or at least to Greek churches. The Arabs sometimes 
make use of them to fold their cattle in ; but in general 
avoid them on account of the enormous scorpions with 
which they swarm. We cannot be surprised at these 
traces of ancient population, when we recollect that this 
was the country of the Nabatheans, the most powerful 
of the Arabs, and of the Idumeans, who, at the time of 
the destruction of Jerusalem, were almost as numerous as 
the Jews, as appears from Josephus, who informs us, 
that on the first rumour of the march of Titus against 
Jerusalem, thirty thousand Idumeans instantly assem- 
bled, and threw themselves into that city for its defence. 
It appears that besides the advantages of being under a 
tolerably good government, these districts enjoyed a 
considerable share of the commerce of Arabia and India, 
which increased their industry and population. We 
know that as far back as the time of Solomon, the cities 
of Astioum Gaber (Esion Gaber) and Ailah (Eloth) were 
highly frequented marts. These towns were situated 
on the adjacent gulf of the Red Sea, where we still find 
the latter yet retaining its name, and perhaps the former 
in that of El Akaba, or the end (of the sea.) These 
two places are in the hands of the Bedouins, who, being 
destitute of a navy and commerce, do not inhabit them. 
But the pilgrims report that there is at El Akaba a 
wretched fort.^ The Idumeans, from whom the Jews 
took only their ports at intervals, must have found in 
them a great source of wealth and population. It even 
appears that the Idumeans rivalled the Tyrians, who also 
possessed a town, the name of which is unknown, on 
the coast of Hedjaz, in the desert of Tih, and the city of 
Faran, and, without doubt, El-Tor, which served it by 
way of port. From this place, the caravans might reach 
' This fort is at present in the possession of the Pasha of Egypt 

176 IDUMEA. 

Palestine and Judea" (through Idumea) " in eight or ten 
days. This route, which is no longer than that frora 
Suez to Cairo, is infinitely shorter than that from Aleppo 
to Bassorah."^ Evidence, which must have been unde- 
signed, which cannot be suspected of partiality, and 
which no illustration can strengthen, and no ingenuity 
pervert, is thus borne to the truth of the most wonderful 
prophecies. That the Idumeans were a populous and 
powerful nation long posterior to the delivery of the pro- 
phecies : that they possessed a tolerably good govern- 
ment, (even in the estimation of Volney ;) that Idumea 
contained many cities ; that these cities are now abso- 
lutely deserted, and that their ruins swarm with enor- 
mous scorpions ; that it was a commercial nation, and 
possessed highly frequented marts ; that it forms a shorter 
route than an ordinary one to India, and yet that it had 
not been visited by any traveller ; are facts all recorded, 
or proved to a wish, by this able but unconscious com- 

1 Volney's Travels, vol. ii. pp. 344 — 346. 

3 None shall pass through it for ever and ever. This prophecy has 
been understood in its most literal and absolute sense as affirming 
that in all time to come no one should ever be able to pass through 
this land ; but even those who adopt this interpretation must ne- 
cessarily admit that it is subject to certain limitations. When 
taken in its most literal sense, it can be viewed only as referring 
to strangers, and not to the natives of the desert, who have been 
in the habit from time immemorial of traversing the country ; but 
even in this limited sense the interpretation, we conceive, is very 
unsafe, and not quite tenable consistently with events which have 
already taken place. We grant that for many ages Edom re- 
mained unvisited ; her sands were trodden only by the foot of the 
Bedouin, and the eye of the stranger never beheld the illustrious 
monuments which her dark mountains conceal. The gates of the 
country, though standing wide open, appeared to be as com- 
pletely barred against the natives of other lands, as if the same 
sword which guarded of old the doors of Eden had flamed before 
the mountain passes of Seir. But now these gates have been 
entered, the country has been explored and traversed in every 
direction, and even the veil of Wady Mousa has been lifted up, 
and the monuments of that mysterious valley revealed to the eyes 
of Europe. Nevertheless, the prediction of the prophet has re- 
ceived a striking fulfilment. Amid the mountains of Edom stood 


Idumea was a kingdom previous to Israel, having been 
governed first by dukes and princes, afterwards by eight 
successive kings, and again by dukes, before there 

a city which, in ancient times, was the centre of the trade of the 
world. To this city the eastern tribes transported the merchan- 
dise of India and Arabia; and from this point it was again sent 
forth to the nations of the west. To this trade, and the great and 
continual intercourse which it occasioned between all countries 
and Edom, the prophet unquestionably refers. His prediction, " I 
will cut off from it him that passeth out and him that returneth," 
simply imports, we conceive, the entire annihilation of that traffic. 
And never did prophecy receive a more striking fulfilment. 

We have already contemplated the small beginnings from 
which arose the magnificent commerce of Idumea. The early 
Edomite freighted his bark with the produce of Arabia, and having 
launched it on the bosom of the Red Sea, guided it along the shore 
to Ethiopia and Egypt, whence he returned laden with such neces- 
saries as his own country did not supply. This trade gradually 
increased, till at last, as Strabo informs us, armies of camels were 
employed in conveying it through Edom to the Mediterranean. At 
that time Edom was the great thoroughfare of the world. Petra 
was the mart of nations. To this city long lines of caravans 
might be seen directing their course from the Persian gulf, from 
all points of Arabia, and from the shores of the Red Sea ; here 
they all met, and deposited their wares ; which other caravans 
conveyed to the shores of the Mediterranean, over whose waters 
they were transported to the nations of the west. Under the reign 
of the Greeks, the commerce of Idumea appears to have reached 
its height, and the vast wealth which it poured into the country is 
attested by the numbers of its people and the splendours of its 
capital. The conquests of the Romans, which opened new chan- 
nels of trade, disturbed the commercial relations of Idumea. The 
traffic of the Persian gulf, which now began to ascend the 
Euphrates, was carried across the Desert at a much higher point 
than Petra. Palmyra rose with unrivalled splendour in the midst 
of sands ; and from this period, the Nabathean trade began rapidly 
to decline, their capital to be deserted, and their people to return 
to their former pastoral and wandering habits. The discoveries 
of the Portuguese gave the death-blow to their commerce. The 
merchandise of India is now carried into Europe by sea ; and 
many centuries have elapsed since a single caravan or a solitary 
trader was seen passing out or returning to this land. Who but 
Omniscience could have foreseen the discoveries to which future 
ages were lo give birth, and the effects these discoveries were to 
produce in opening new channels of trade, and filling with deso- 
lation and silence the ancient and once crowded thoroughfare of 
Edom 1 And when we think that there is not the least likeliho«.4 
of the commerce of the world ever reverting to its old channel, 

178 IDUMEA. 

reigned any king over the children of Israel.^ Its fer- 
tility and early cultivation are implied not only in the 
blessings of Esau, whose dwelling was to be the fatness 
of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above ; but 
also in the condition proposed by Moses to the Edomites, 
when he solicited a passage for. the Israelites through 
their borders, " that they would not pass through the 
fields or through the vineyards ;'' and also in the great 
wealth, especially in the multitudes of flocks and herds, 
recorded as possessed by an individual inhabitant of 
that country, at a period, in all probability, even more re- 
mote.^ The Iduraeans were, without doubt, both an 
opulent and a powerful people. They often contended 
with the Israelites, and entered into a league with their 
other enemies against them. In the reign of David 
they were indeed subdued and greatly oppressed, and 
many of them were dispersed throughout the neighbour- 
ing countries, particularly Phoenicia and Egypt. But 
during the decline of the kingdom of Judah, and for 
many years previous to its extinction, they encroached 
upon the territories of the Jews, and extended their do- 
minion over the south-western part of Judea. Though 
no excellence whatever be now attached to its name, 
which exists only in past history, Idumea, including 
perhaps Judea, as Reland has shown, was then not with- 
out the praise of the first of Roman poets. 

Primus Idumceas referam tibi, Mantua, palmas. 

Virg. Georg. iii. 12. 

And of Lucan, (Pharsal. iii. 216.) 

Arbustis palmarum dives Idume. 
But Idumea, as a kingdom, can lay claim to a higher 
renown than either the abunjdance of its flocks, or the 
excellence of its palm trees. The celebrated cit}' of 

we see that Jehovah has not only fulfilled the prediction in cut- 
ting off from Edom him that passeth out, and him that returneth, 
but that, in all time to come, none shall pass through it for ever and 
ever. — Wy lie's Modern Jvdea. 

1 Genesis xxxvi. 31 — 43. 

3 Gen. xxvii. 39; Num. xx. 17; Job xlii. 12. 

IDUMEA. , 179 

Petra (so named by the Greeks, and so worthy of its 
name, on account both of its rocky situation and vicinity) 
was situated within the patrimonial territory of the 
Edomites. There is distinct and positive evidence that 
it was a city of Edom,* and the metropolis of the Naba- 
theans,'' whom Strabo expressly identifies with the Idu- 
means — possessors of the same country, and subject to 
the same laws.^ " Petra," to use the words of Dr. Vin- 
cent, by whom the state of its ancient commerce was 
described before its ruins were discovered, " is the capi- 
tal of Edom or Seir, the Idumea or Arabia Petrsea of the 
Greeks, the Nabatea, considered both by geographers, 
historians, and poets, as the source of all the precious 
commodities of the east."* " The caravans, in all ages, 
from Minea, in the interior of Arabia, and from Gerrha 
on the Gulf of Persia, from Hadramaut on the ocean, 
and some even from Sabea or Yemen, appear to have 
pointed to Petra as a common centre ; and from Petra the 
trade seem's again to have branched out into every direc- 
tion, to Egypt, Palestine, and Syria, through Arsinoe, 
Gaza, Tyre, Jerusalem, Damascus, and a variety of sub- 
ordinate routes that all terminated on the Mediterranean. 
There is every proof that is requisite to show that the 
Tyrians and Sidonians were the first merchants who in- 
troduced the produce of India to all the nations which 
encircled the Mediterranean ; so there is the strongest 
evidence to prove that the Tyrians obtained all their 
commodities from Arabia. But if Arabia was the centre 
of this commerce, Petra* was the point to which all 

' Petra being afterwards more particularly noticed, some quota- 
tions from ancient authors respecting it may here be subjoined. 

UtrgA TToxK iv yn ESw/uc t»? Agct^uts. (Eusebii Onomast.) " Petra 
civitas Arabise in terra Edom." Hieron. torn. iii. p. 59. Vide 
Relandi Palestina, tom. 1, p. 70. 

^ M»T^o7ro\is Jt Tcev tin^ATcucev uttiv « TliTgct x-ctKovfAiVn. — Strabo, lib. 
xvi. p. 779, edit. Paris, 1620, ed. Falc. p. 1106. 

3 NctjiaTcuot <fi imv oi iJov^aw*. Strabo, lib. xvi. p. 760, edit. Falcon 
p. 1081. 

4 Vincent's Commerce of the Ancients, vol. ii. p. 263. 

* Agatharchides Huds. p. 57. Plinii Hist. Nat. lib. vi. cap. xxviii 
quoted by Vincent, ibid p. 262. 

180 IDUMEA. 

the Arabians tended from the three sides of their vast 
peninsula."* " The name of this capital, in all the va- 
rious languages in which it occurs, implies a rock, and 
as such it is described in the Scriptures, in Strabo, and 

vA.bout 800 years before Christ, Amaziah, the king of 
Judea, took Selah, (or Petra, both names alike signifying 
a rock,) after having slain 10,000 Edomites.^ Five hun- 
dred years thereEifter, it withstood the repeated assaults 
of Demetrius, who marched suddenly against it, to take 
it by surprise : and he who afterwards entered Babylon, 
retreated from before the capital of Edom.** Petra, sub- 
sequently to its subjugation by the Nabathean Arabs, was 
termed the capital of Arabia, or more properly of Arabia 
Petraea : and a race of kings who reigned there under 
the names of Obodas and Aretas, were each successively 
designated ^ the king of Arabia.' Three hundred years 
after the last of the prophets, and nearly a century before 
the Christian era, Alexander Janneus, king of Judea, 
having taken several cities of the Idumeans and neigh- 
bouring nations, was defeated by Obodas, lost his army, 
and scarcely escaped with his Jife. Aretas, the successor 
of Obodas, who next reigned at Petra, * a person very 
illustrious,' (srttSoloj,) discomfited and slew Antiochus 
Dionysius, king of Syria ; and Coelesyria was added to his 
dominions. When Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, was 
dispossessed of his kingdom by his elder brother Aris- 
tobulus, Antipater, an Idumean of great wealth, the 
father of Herod the Great, urged him to flee for aid to 
* the king of Arabia,' and conducted him to ' Petra, 
where the palace of Aretas was.'* On the promised 
restoration by Antipater, as soon as he should be repos- 
sessed of his kingdom, of the twelve cities and territory 

* Vincent's Comtaerce of the Ancients, vol. ii. pp. 260 — 262. 
2 Ibid. vol. ii. p. 264. 

' 2 Kings xiv. 7. 

^ Diod. Sic. torn. viii. p. 416. Prideaux. 

* E/f riergstv oTTiu ^Ao-iKutL tiv tou Agiraf. Joseph. Ant. lib. xiv. c. 
I, § 4. 

IDUMEA. 181 

which his father had taken^ from the Arabs or Nabathe- 
ans, Aretas, at the head of 50,000 men, horse and foot, 
marched against Aristobulus, conquered him in battle, 
and, advancing with all his army, entered Jerusalem, 
and having united the forces of the Jews with his own, 
pressed vigorously the siege of the temple, which was 
only raised by the advance of the Romans to the aid of 
Aristobulus.*^ At a period posterior as well as prior to 
the commencement of the Christian era, there always 
reigned at Petra, as Strabo relates, a king of the royal 
lineage, with whom a prince or procurator, denominated 
his brother, was associated in the government.^ In the 
beginning of the second century, Petra, though its inde- 
pendence was lost, was still the capital of a Roman pro- 
vince, or the reputed metropolis of Arabia; and, as its 
coins attested, the emperor Adrian added his name to 
that of the city i"* it long continued* to be the capital of 
the third Palestine — Palestina tertia sive salutaris ; and, 
as such, was also the metropolitan see of fifteen cities 
pertaining to that province.^ 

The ancient state of Idumea cannot in the present 
day be so clearly ascertained from the records respecting 
it which can be gleaned from history, whether sacred or 
profane, as by the wonderful and imperishable remains 
of its capital city, and by "the traces of many towns 
and villages," which indisputably show that " it must 
once have been thickly inhabited."^ It not only can 
admit of no dispute, that the cities of Idumea subsisted 
in a very different state from that absolute desolation in 
which, long prior to the period of its reality, it was 
represented in the prophetic vision ; but there are pro- 

' Viz. Medaba, Naballo, Livias,Tharabasa, Agalla, Athone, Zoara, 
Oronae, Marissa, Rydda, Lyssa, and Oryba. Joseph. Ant. lib. xiv. 
c. 1, § 4. 

2 Joseph. Ant. c. ii. § i. ed. Falc. p. 1107. 3 Strabo, p. 779. 

^ Petra est Arabice metropolis, quo spectant nummi, in quibus 
AAPIANH nETPA MHTPonOAic legitur, &c. Vide Relandi Pa- 
lest, torn. ii. p. 9.31. 

•^ Relandi Palest, torn. i. p. 315, &c. 

* Burckhardt's Travels in Syria, p. 436. 

182 IDUMEA. 

phecies regarding it, especially those in the thirty-fourth 
chapter of Isaiah, that have yet a prospective view, and 
which refer to the time when " the children of Israel 
shall possess their possessions," or to " the year of re- 
compenses for the controversy of Zion." But, danger- 
ous as it is to explore the land of Idumea, and difficult 
to ascertain these existing facts, and precise circum- 
stances, which form the strongest features of its desolate 
aspect, (and that ought to be the subject of scientific as 
well as of religious inquiry,) enough has been discovered 
to show that the sentence against it, though fulfilled by 
the agency of nature and of man, is precisely such as 
was first recorded in the annals of inspiration. 

Edom shall be a desolation. From generation to gene- 
ration it shall lie waste^ &c. Judea, Ammon, and Moab 
exhibit so abundantly the remains and the means of an 
exuberant fertility, tnat the wonder arises in the reflect- 
ing mind, how the barbarity of man could have so 
effectually counteracted, for so " many generations," the 
prodigality of nature. But such is Edom's desolation, 
that the first sentiment of astonishment on the contempla- 
tion of it is, how a wide-extended region, now diversi- 
fied by the strongest features of desert wildness, could 
ever have been adorned with cities, or tenanted for ages 
by a powerful and opulent people. Its present aspect 
would belie its ancient history, were not that history 
corroborated by " the many vestiges of former cultiva- 
tion," by the remains of walls and paved roads, and by 
the ruins of cities still existing in this ruined country. 

The total cessation of its commerce ; the artificial irri- 
gation of its valleys wholly neglected ; the destruction 
of all the cities, and the continued spoliation of the 
country by the Arabs, while aught remained that they 
could destroy ; the permanent exposure, for ages, of the 
soil, unsheltered by its ancient groves, and unprotected 
by any covering from the scorching rays of the sun ; the 
unobstructed encroachments of the desert, and of the 
drifted sands from the borders of the Red Sea, the conse- 
quent absorption of the water of the springs and stream- 

IDUMEA. 183 

lets during summer ; are causes which have all combined 
their baneful operation in rendering Edom most desolate^ 
the desolation of desolations. Volney's account is suffi- 
ciently descriptive of the desolation which now reigns 
over Idumea ; and the information which Seetzen de- 
rived at Jerusalem respecting it, is of similar import.* 
He was told " that at the distance of two days' journey 
and a half from Hebron, he would find considerable 
ruins of the ancient city of Abde, and that for all the 
rest of the journey he would see no place of habitation ; 
he would meet only with a few tribes of wandering 
Arabs." From the borders of Edom, Captains Irby and 
Mangles beheld a boundless extent of desert view, which 
they had hardly ever seen equalled for singularity and 
grandeur. And the following extract, descriptive of 
what Burckhardt actually witnessed in different parts of 
Edom, cannot be more graphically abbreviated than in 
the words of the prophet. Of its eastern boundary, and 
of the adjoining part of Arabia Petreea, strictly so called, 
Burckhardt writes : — " It might with truth be called 
Petrsea, not only on account of its rocky mountains, but 
also of the elevated plain already described,^ which is 
so much covered with stones, especially flints, that it 
may with great propriety be called a stony desert, al- 
though susceptible of culture : in many places it is over- 
grown with wild herbs, and must once have been thickly 
inhabited ; for the traces of many towns and villages are 
met with on both sides of the Hadj road, between Maan 
and Akaba, as well as between Maan and the plains of 
the Hauran, in which direction are also many springs. 
At present all this country is a desert, and Maan (Te- 
man^) is the only inhabited place in it.'' / will stretch 
out iny hand against thee, Mount Sdr, and will ma/ce 
thee most desolate. I will stretch out my hand upon 
Edom, and will make it desolate from Teman, &c. 

' Seetzen's Travels, p. 46. 

2 Sheera, (Seir,) the territory of the Edomites, pp. 410, 435. 

3 See map prefixed to Burckhardt's Travels. 

4 Burckhardt's Travels, p. 436. 

184 IDUMEA. 

In the interior of Idumea, where the ruins of some of 
Its ancient cities are still visible, and in the extensive 
valley which reaches from the Red to the Dead Sea, the 
appearance of which must now be totally and sadly 
changed from what it was, " the whole plain presented 
to the view an expanse of shifting sands, whose surface 
was broken by innumerable undulations and low hills. 
The same appears to have been brought from the shores 
of t/ie Red Sea, by the southern winds ; and the Arabs 
told me that the valleys continue to present the same 
appearance beyond the latitude of Wady Mousa. In 
some parts of the valley the sand is very deep, and there 
is not the slightest appearance of a road, or of any work 
of human art. A few trees grow among the sand-hills, 
but the depth of sand precludes all vegetation of herb- 
age."* If grape-gatJierers come to tliee^ would they not 
leave some gleaning grapes ? if thieves by night, they will 
destroy till they have enough. But I have made Esau 
BARE. Edom shall be a desolate wilderness. " On as- 
cending the western plain on a higher level than that of 
Arabia, we had before us an immense expanse of dreary 
country, entirely covered with black flints, and here and 
there some hilly chains rising from the plain. "^ I will 
stretch out upon Idumea the line of confusion, and the 
stones of emptiness. 

Of the remains of ancient cities still exposed to view 
in different places throughout Idumea, Burckhardt de- 
scribes " the ruins of a large town, of which nothing 
remains but broken walls and heaps of stones; the 
ruins of several villages in its vicinity f the ruins of an 
ancient city, consisting of large heaps of hewn blocks 
of silicious stone ; the extensive ruins of Gherandel, 
Arindela, an ancient town of Palsestina Tertia.""* " The 
following ruined places are situated in Djebal Shera^ 
(Mount Seir,) to the S. and S. W. of Wady Mousa: 
Kalaat, Djerba, Basta, Eyl, Ferdakh, Anyk, Bir el Bey- 

• Burckhardt's Travels, p. 442. 2 ibid. pp. 444, 445. 

^ Ibid. p. 418. 4 Ibid. p. 441. 

IDUMEA. 185 

tar, Shemakh, and Syk. Of the towns* laid down in 
D'Anville's map, Thoana excepted, no traces remain."^ 
Laborde passed the ruins of Elana, a town in Wady 
(valley) Pambouchebe, of another in Wady Sabra, where 
there are the ruins of a theatre and several temples ; and 
of Ameime, where there are the remains of numerous 
cisterns excavated from the rock, into which the water 
flowed by an aqueduct nine miles in length. / will lay 
thy cities waste, and thou shall be desolate. Mount 
Seir, I vnll make thee perpetual desolations ; and thy 
cities shall not return. 

Malachi, the last of the prophets, who wrote two hun- 
dred years after Ezekiel, and above three hundred after 
Isaiah, describes the heritage of Esau as laid waste for 
tlie dragons of the wilderness. But he adds. Whereas 
Edom saith, we are impoverished., hut we will return and 
build the desolate places ; thus saith t/ie Lord, They shall 
build, but I will throw down. In recording the invasion 
of Demetrius, about three hundred years before the 
Christian era, into the land of Edom, Diodorus describes 
the country as desert, and the inhabitants as living 
without houses ; nor does he mention any city in that 
region but Petra alone. Yet the names of some of the 
cities of Arabia Petrsea, enumerated by Josephus, as ex- 
isting at the time when the Romans invaded Palestine 
— the names of eighteen cities of Palsestina Tertia, of 
which Petra was the capital, and the metropolitan see, 
in the times of the Lower Empire — and the towns laid 
down in D'Anville's map, together with the subsisting 
ruins of towns in Edom, specified by Burckhardt, and 
also by Laborde — give proof that Edom, after having 
been impoverished, did return and build the desolate 
places ; even as " the ruined towns and places," still 
visible and named, show that though the desolate places 

' The names of these towns, in the map referred to, are Elusa, 
Tamara, Zoara, Thoana, Necta, Phenon, Suzuma, Carcaria, Obo- 
da, Berzumma, Lysa, Gypsaria, Zodocata, Gerasa, Havara, PraB- 
sidium ad Dianam, OElana, Asion Gaber. 

2 Burckhardt's Travels, pp. 443, 444. 

186 IDUMEA. 

were built again, according to the prophecy, they have, 
as likewise foretold, been thrown down, and are " ruined 
places," lying in utter desolation. 

While the cities of Idumea, in general, are thus most 
desolate, and while the ruins themselves are as indis- 
criminate as they are undefined, In the prediction, (there 
being nothing discoverable, as there was nothing fore- 
told, but their excessive desolation, and that they shall 
not return,) there is one striking exception to this pro- 
miscuous desolation, which is alike singled out by the 
inspired prophet and by the scientific traveller. 

Burckhardt gives a description of no ordinary interest, 
of the site of an ancient city which he visited, the ruins 
of which not only attest its ancient splendour, but they 
" are entitled to rank among the most curious remains of 
ancient art." Though the city is desolate, the monu- 
ments of its opulence and power are durable. These 
are, a channel on each side of the river, for conveying 
the water to the city ; numerous tombs ; above two hun- 
dred and fifly sepulchres, or excavations ; many mau- 
soleums, one in particular of colossal dimensions, in 
perfect preservation, and a work of immense labour, 
containing a chamber sixteen paces square, and above 
twenty-five in height, with a colonnade in front thirty- 
five feet high, crowned with a pediment highly orna- 
mented, &c. ; two large truncated pyramids, and a theatre 
with all its benches, capable of containing about three 
thousand spectators, all cut out of the rock. In some 
places these sepulchres are excavated one over the other, 
and the side of the mountain is so perpendicular that it 
seems impossible to approach tJie uppermost, no path what- 
ever being visible. " The ground is covered with heaps 
of hewn stones, foundations of buildings, fragments of 
columns and vestiges of paved streets, all clearly indi- 
cating that a large city once existed here. On the left 
bank of the river is a rising ground, extending west- 
ward for nearly three quarters of a mile, entirely covered 
with similar remains. On the right bank, where the 
ground is more elevated, ruins of the same description 

* IDUMEA. 187 

are to be seen. There are also the remains of a palace 
and of several temples. In the eastern clif there are 
upwards of fifty separate sepulchres close to each other. "^ 
These are not the symbols of a feeble race, nor of a peo- 
ple that were to perish utterly. But a judgment was 
denounced against the strongholds of Edom. The pro- 
phetic threatening has not proved an empty boast, and 
it could not have been the word of an uninspired mortal. 
/ will make thee small among the heathen. Thy terrible- 
ness hath deceived thee, and tJie pride of thine heart, 
thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the 
height of the hill : though thou shouldest make thy nest as 
high as the eagle, I will bring thee down fro'm tlience, 
saith the Lord. Also Edom shall be a desolation. 

These descriptions given by the prophet and by the 
observer are so analogous, and the precise locality of the 
scene, from its pecuhar and characteristic features, so 
identified, — and yet the application of the prophecy to 
the fact so remote from the thoughts or view of Burck- 
hardt, as to be altogether overlooked, — that his single 
delineation of the ruins of the chief (and assuredly the 
strongest and best fortified) city of Edom was deemed 
in the first edition of this treatise, and in the terms of 
the preceding paragraph, an illustration of the prophecy, 
alike adequate and legitimate. And though deprecating 
any allusion whatever of a personal nature, and earnest 
only for the elucidation of the truth, the author yet 
trusts that he may here be permitted to disclaim the cre- 
dit of having been the first to assign to the prediction its 
wonderful and appropriate fulfilment ; and it is with no 
slight gratification that he is now enabled to adduce 
higher evidence than any opinion of his own, and to 
state, that the self-same prophecy has been applied by 
others — with the Bible in their hands, and with the very 
scene before them— to the self-same spot. Yet it may 
be added, that this coincident application of the pro- 
phecy, without any collusion, and without the possibility 
it the time of any interchange of sentiment, aflfords, a( 
3 Burckhardt's Travels in Syria, pp. 422—432. 

188 IDUMEA. 

least, a strong presumptive evidence of the accuracy of 
the application, and of the truth of the prophecy ; and 
it may well lead to some reflection in the mind of any 
reader, if skepticism has not barred every avenue 
against conviction. 

On entering the pass which conducts to the theatre of 
Petra, Captains Irby and Mangles remark ; — " The ruins 
of the city here burst on the view, in their full grandeur, 
shut in on the opposite side by barren craggy precipices, 
from which numerous ravines and valleys branch out in 
all directions ; the sides of the mountains, covered with 
an endless variety of excavated tombs and private dwell- 
ings, (0 thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, 
&c. — Jer. xlix. 16,) presented altogether the most sin- 
gular scene we ever beheld." 

In still farther confirmation of the identity of the site, 
and the accuracy of the application, it may be repeated 
in the words of Dr. Vincent, that " the name of this 
capital, in all the various languages in which it occurs, 
implies a rock, and as such it is described in the Scrip- 
tures, in Strabo, and Al Edrissi."* And in a note he 
enumerates among the various names having all the 
same signification — Sela, a rock, (the very word here 
used in the original,) Petra, a rock, (the Greek name, 
which has precisely the same signification,) and The 
Rock, pre-eminently — expressly referring to this passage 
of Scripture.^ Petrsea, according to Bochart, no mean 
authority, was so called fi-om its metropolis Petra, of 
which the Hebrew name was Selah, and the Arabic, 
Hagar ; Selah being the very same among the Hebrews, 
and Hagar among the Arabians, as Petra among the 
Greeks ; this name was given to the city because rocky 
mountains overhung it, of which the Arabian geographer 
states that houses are there excavated in the rock.^ This 

' Commerce of the Ancients, vol. ii. p. 264. 

2 See Blaney, in loco. 

3 Cum Petraea dicatur — a metropoli Petra, cujus Hebraeum 
nomen Selah. 2 Kings xiv. 7, et Isa. xvi. 1, et Arabicura Hagar, 
Geograph. Nub. Clim. iii. part. 5. Hebraeis autem Selah et Arabi- 
bus Hagar id ipsum sunt quod Graecis Petra; atque hoc nomen 

♦ IDUMEA. 189 

testimony, however high the authority, is yet enhanced 
by the fact, that it was given long before the ruins of 
Petra were discovered, or the prediction appHed to the 

Captains Irby and Mangles, having, together with 
Mr. Bankes and Mr. Legh, spent two days in diligently 
examining them, give a more particular detail of the 
ruins of Petra than Burckhardt's account supplied ; and 
the more full the description, the more precise and won- 
derful does the prophecy appear. Near to the place 
where they entered Wady Mousa, " the high land was 
covered upon both its sides, and on its summits, with 
lines and solid masses of dry wall. The former ap- 
peared to be traces of ancient cultivation, the solid ruins 
seemed to be only the remains of towers for watching in 
harvest and vintage-time. The whole neighbourhood 
of the spot bears similar traces of former industry ; all 
which seem to indicate the vicinity of a great metropo- 
lis."^ A narrow and circuitous defile, surrounded on 
each side by precipitous or perpendicular rocks, varying 
from four hundred to seven hundred feet in altitude, and 
forming, for two miles, " a sort of subterranean passage," 

urbi inditum, quia illi imminent saxosi montes de quibus ita Geo- 
graphus Arabs — Hagar est arx pulchre sita inter montes — suntque 
ibi domus excisee in petra. Hos montes Arabica voce Agar, id est, 
Petram, appellat Paulus, Gal. iv. 25, tanquam urbi cognomines. 
Bochart Phaleg. lib.iv. c. xxvii. c. 275, 276. Edit. Lugd. Bat. 1712. 

It may be interesting, if not instructive, to the Christian reader, 
in reference to the allegory spoken of by the apostle, (Galatians 
iv. 25,) to add, as Josephus has related, and as the name imports, 
that the Nabatheans, who, after the Edomites possessed for so long 
a period Petra as their capital, were the descendants of Nebaioth, 
the first-born of Ishmael, the son of Hagar. Its desolate site in 
the present day, and the unrepealarble decree of perpetual desola- 
tion which rests on Edom alone, may be deemed a. farther exposi- 
tion of the allegory. And that allegory itself, which the future 
state of the world has yet fully to expound, would prove to be 
written for instruction in righteousness, if men were hence led, 
from its prophetic truth and spiritual application, to consider the 
different character and final fate of the children of the bond-wo- 
man and of the free. 

' Captains Irby and Mangles's Travels, p. 402. 


190 IDUMEA. 

Opens on the east the way to the ruins of Petra. The 
rocks, or rather hills, then diverge on either side, and 
leave an oblong space, where once stood the metropolis 
of Edom, deceived by its terribleness, where now lies a 
waste of ruins, encircled on every side, save on the 
north-east alone, by stupendous clitTs, which still show 
how the pride and labour of art tried there to vie with 
the sublimity of nature. Along the borders of these 
cliffs, detached masses of rock, numerous and lofty, have 
been wrought into sepulchres, the interior of which is 
excavated into chambers, while the exterior has been 
cut from the live rock into the forms of towers, with 
pilasters, and successive bands of frieze and entablature, 
wings, recesses, figures of animals, and columns.' The 
subjoined cut may convey an idea of some of these sin- 
gular excavations. 

Yet, numerous as they are, these form but a part of 
" the vast necropolis of Petra." " Tombs present them- 
selves, not only in every avenue to the city, and upon 
every precipice that surrounds it, but even intermixed 
almost promiscuously with its public and domestic edi- 
fices ; the natural features of the defile grew more and 
^more imposing at every step, and the excavations and 
sculpture more frequent on both sides, till it presented at 
last a continued street of tombs." The base of the 
cliffs, wrought out into all the symmetry and regularity 
' Captains Irby and Mangles's Travels, p. 407. 


E -X T E R I O R O p 

A T O .^I B . 

IDUMEA. 191 

of art, with colonnades and pedestals, and ranges of cor- 
ridors adhering to the perpendicular surface ; flights of 
steps chiselled out of the rock ; grottos, " which are cer- 
tainly not sepulchral ;" some excavated residences of 
large dimensions, in one of which is a single chamber, 
sixty feet in length, and of a breadth proportioned ; 
other dwellings of inferior note, particularly abundant in 
one defile leading to the city, the steep sides of which 
contain a sort of excavated suburb, accessible by flights 
of steps ; niches, sometimes thirty feet in excavated 
height, with altars for votive offerings, or with pyramids, 
columns, or obelisks : a bridge across a chasm now ap- 
parently inaccessible : some small pyramids hewn out of 
the rock on the summit of the heights ; horizontal grooves 
for the conveyance of water, cut in the face of the rock, 
and even across the architectural fronts of some of the 
excavations ; and, in short, " the rocks hollowed out 
into innumerable chambers of different dimensions, 
whose entrances are variously, richly, and often fantas- 
tically decorated with every imaginable order of archi- 
tecture ;"* — all united not only form one of the most 
singular scenes that the eye of man ever looked upon, 
or the imagination painted — a group of wonders perhaps 
unparalleled in their kind — but also give indubitable 
proof, both that in the land of Edom there was a city 
where human ingenuity and energy and power must have 
been exerted for many ages, and to so great a degree as 
to have well entitled it to be noted for its strength or 
terriblenesSj and that the description given of it by the 
prophets of Israel was as strictly literal as the prediction 
respecting it is true. " The barren state of the country, 
together with the desolate condition of the city, without 
a single human being living near it, seem," in the words 
of those who were spectators of the scene, " strongly to 
verify the judgment denounced against it."^ thou. 

' Captains Irby and Mangles's Travels, pp. 407 — 437; Mac- 
michael's Journey, pp. 228, 229. 

2 Irby and Mangles's Travels, p. 439. 

192 IDUMEA. 

that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, fyc. Also Edom 
shall be a desolation, fyc. 

Of all the ruins of Petra, the mausoleums and sepul- 
chres are among the most remarkable, and they give the 
clearest indication of ancient and long-continued royalty, 
and of courtly grandeur. Their immense number cor- 
roborates the accounts given of their successive kings 
and princes by Moses and Strabo, though a period of 
eighteen hundred years intervened between the dates of 
their respective records concerning them. The structure 
of the sepulchres also shows that many of them are of a 
more recent date. " Great," says Burckhardt, " must 
have been the opulence of a city which could dedicate 
such monuments to the memory of its rulers."^ But the 
long line of the kings and of the nobles of Idumea, has 
for ages been cut off; they are without any representa- 
tive now, without any memorial but the multitude and 
the magnificence of their unvisited sepulchres. They 
shall call the nobles thereof to the Idngdom, (or rather, 
they shall call, or summon, the nobles thereof,) but there 
shall be no kingdom there, and all her princes shall be no- 

Amidst the mausoleums and sepulchres, the remains 
of temples or palaces, and the multiplicity of tombs, 
which all form as it were the grave of Idumea, where 
its ancient splendour is interred, there are edifices, the 
Roman and Grecian architecture of which decides that 
they were built long posterior to the era of the prophets.^ 
They shall build, but I will throw down. The description 
given by Volney, and depending for its accuracy on the 
authority of Arabs, formed till very recently the only 
account of the modern state of Idumea ; and though the 
testimony was recorded in a manner and came through 
a channel the most unsuspected possible, yet the evi- 
dence was not sufficiently direct or discriminating to 
mark, as Volney had otherwise done, the exact, pro- 
phetic, and characteristic features of the scene. The 
1 Burckhardt's Travels, p. 425. 2 ibid. 

IDUMEA. 193 

interesting details, from personal observation, commu- 
nicated by Burckhardt, and subsequently by Captains 
Irby and Mangles, rescued the subject from obscurity, 
and brought to light the remarkable fact of the ruins of 
a city, surrounded by excavated rocks, in the midst of 
the desert. 

When, in the streets of Jerusalem, the people shouted 
hosannahs to the Son of David, and while some of the 
Pharisees among the people said unto him, Master, re- 
buke thy disciples, he answered and said unto them, I 
tell you, that if these should hold their peace, the stones 
would immediately cry out. And in an infidel age, 
while many modern cities and nations disowned the 
authority of the God of Israel and disbelieved his word, 
those of ancient times stood forth anew before the world, 
like witnesses arisen from the dead, to show the authority, 
the power, and the truth of his word over them, and to 
raise a warning and instructive voice to the cities of the 
nations, lest they too should become the monuments of 
the WTath which they have defied. And when men 
would not hear of hosannahs to the Son of David, or of 
divine honours to the name of Christ, deserts immedi- 
ately spake and rocks cried out, and, responding to the 
voice of the prophets, testified of them who testified of 
Jesus. The capital of Edom, as well as the capitals of 
other ancient kingdoms, was heard of again ; and its 
rocks now send forth a voice that may well reach unto 
the ends of the earth. 

It entered not into the thoughts of the writer, and far 
surpassed his hopes, when first led to look into the pro- 
phecies concerning Edom, from the statement of an Arab 
report recorded by Volney, that in so short a time the 
fulfilment of these prophecies might be set before the 
eyes of men, even without their having to " come and 
see." And after having adduced new evidence in suc- 
cessive editions from striking facts, clearly illustrative 
of the predictions relative to Edom, and to its once 
terrible metropolis, an appeal may now be made to the 
sight as well as to the understanding of men. For just 


as these pages are passing through the press,* the author 
has timely received from Paris (and would that that city 
would give heed to the truth, which it thus farther 
affords the means of confirming) the first six livraisons 
of a work entitled, Voyage de VArahk PHHe par Mess.. 
Leon de Laborde et Ldnant, now in the course of publi- 
cation, which contains, in the numbers first pubhshed, 
seventeen splendid engravings of the ruins of Petra 
alone, in which, by merely affixing a text, the beauties 
of art become immediately subservient to the interests 
of religion. To these, others are now added, and the 
splendid work has been completed. Where, very re- 
cently, it was difficult, if not impossible, to ascertain a 
single fact, and where only indirect evidence could be 
obtained, men may now, as it were, look upon Idumea, 
and see how the lines of confusion and the stones of 
emptiness have been stretched over it. And we may 
now, in like manner, look upon the ruins of the chief 
city of Edom, of which the very existence was till lately 
altogether unknown. All the plates attest it^ vast mag- 
nificence, and the almost incredible and inconceivable 
labour, continued as it must have been from age to age, 
prior to the days of Moses and later than the Christian 
era, by which so great a multiplicity of mausoleums were 
excavated from the rock. And Truth speaks out, not 
fi-om the lips of a lying spirit evoked by the fancy of a 
skeptical philosopher, but from the face of the live rock, 
which exhibits the excavations in the clefts, singularly 
characteristic of the scene, and declares by the order of 
architecture, as if still told by every stroke of the chisel, 
that the citizens of Petra did build after the era of the 
prophets ; while the fragments of ruins, of Grecian and 
Roman architecture, as well as of more ancient date, 
which are strewed over the ground, and cover the valley 
which was the site of the city, and which is surrounded 
by precipitous hills and excavated rocks, show that those 
buildings, whose doom was pronounced before their 
' Sixth edition. 


IDUMEA. 195 

erection, have, according to the same sure word, been 
thrown down. 

The topographical view of the land of Idumea, taken 
from El Nakb, gives us to see that Edom is most deso- 
late, the desolation of desolations ; that the country which 
was given unto Esau, as the fatness of the earth, and in 
which many cities were built, has been made hare, and 
that the lines of confusion and the stones of emptiness 
have been stretched over it. In the brief explanatory note 
which accompanies the plate, it is stated, that " no map, 
however well executed, can represent the aspect of a 
country so well as views taken from an elevated point, 
and comprehending a great extent. It is from such demi- 
panoramas alone that a correct idea can be formed. 
Such has been the object proposed in drawing these two 
views." (The other view, of a similar character, repre- 
sents the southern coast of Edom, on the borders of the 
Red Sea. The accompanying view has been selected, 
as comprehending the greatest extent, and showing the 
aspect of the country.) 

" The view is taken from El Nakb, a precipitous 
ascent, six miles south of Mount Hor, and consequently 
of Petra. It comprehends to the left, or the west, Wady 
Arabia, (or the valley of Arabia,) a long and straight 
plain of sand, which, commencing at the Red Sea, ex- 
tends to the north, in a direct line to the Jordan, and 
was, without doubt, the ancient bed of that river before 
the volcanic eruption which formed the actual basis of 
the Dead Sea, and of which the Bible has given so faithful 
a recital. On the right bank, towards the west, lies the 
adjoining Wady Gebb, through which the Fellahs of 
Petra repair to Gaza. Towards the east, (on the right 
of the view,) there is seen, in the middle of a small 
plain, an insulated rock called El Aase, on which is a 
tomb of the same form of construction as those of Petra. 
Farther to the right is a high rock, which forms, as it 
were, the first rampart in the environs of Petra, elevated 
in the form of a cone, with a tree on the summit. Fol- 
lowing the same direction, we meet with Mount Hor, 

196 IDUMEA. 

the highest rock in the country, on the summit of which 
is seen the Tomb of Aaron^ held in great veneration in 
that region. To the east of that mountain, in a small 
plain of unequal surface, enclosed in the midst of rocks, 
o( which the masses seem to be accumulated and pressed 
together, is built the city of Petfa, the capital of the Na- 
batheans. The picture is terminated by the grand chain 
of mountains which separates Arabia Deserta from Ara- 
bia Petraea, properly so called." 

The explicit testimony of Laborde here enhances the 
worth of his valuable engravings. It is, he states, 
" from the summit of El Nakb that one can judge of the 
general aspect of the country, of the melancholy and dis- 
mal character of which it is difficult to convey an idea 
with the pencil alone." But the prophetic description 
surpasses that of the pen or pencil of man, however 
gifted the painter, or however graphic the delineation. 
For he immediately adds, "Many prophets have an- 
nounced the misery of Idumea, but the strong language 
of Ezekiel can alone come up to the height (or reach 
the acme) of this great desolation."* Moreover the word 
of tJie Lord came unto me, saying. Son of man, set thy 
face against Mount Seir and prophesy against it, and say 
unto it, Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, Mount Seir^ 
I am against thee, and I mil make thee most desolate. 
I will lay thy cities waste, and when the whole earth re- 
jaiceth, I will make thee desolate. I will make Mount 
Seir most desolate, and cut off from it him that passeth 
out and him that returneth. And I will fill his moun- 
tains with his slain men, and in thy hills and in thy 
valleys, and in all thy rivers, shall they fall that are 
slain with the sword. I will make thee perpetual desola- 
tions, and thy cities shall not return, and ye shall know 
that I am the Lord.^ 

' On peut juger ainsi de leur Elevation et de Taspect general du 
pays, dont le triste et lugubre charactere est difficile a transporter 
avec I'aide seule du crayon. Plusieurs prophetes avaient annonc6 
le malheur de I'ldumee; mais la forte parole d'Ezechiel peut seule 
s'6lever a la hauteur de cette grande desolation. — Voyage, p. 61. 

2 Ezek. XXXV. 

IDUMEA.. 197 

One engraving is peculiarly striking, as indirectly 
exemplifying the unique character of the scenery, by 
which, at a glance, Petra is identified, and distinguished 
from any other city that ever existed. The design 
of the picture is to represent an isolated column. But 
the back-ground exhibits to view " a part of the val- 
ley of Moses," (Wady Mousa,) with the high rocks in 
the more distant perspective "pierced with thousands 
of excavations," (perces de milliers excavations.) The 
reader will be aware that the minute appearance of the 
excavations is occasioned by the distance of the view, 
and consequent diminution of the apparent height of the 
rocks ; and in the multiplicity of excavations, percepti- 
ble even in the rocks which border the elongated valley, 
he will not fail to observe those in the clefts of the rocks, 
and to see how the inhabitants of the capital of Edom 
made their nest as high as the eagWs. This perfect 
coincidence both with the description, as identifying the 
spot, and with the prediction of the prophet, as now 
abandoned and desolate, is the more remarkable, as it 
is incidentally and indirectly placed in view, the title of 
the print being, A View of an Isolated Column (Vue 
d'une Colonne isolee.) 

In the notes connected with the ruins of a temple, of 
which two views are given, it is stated that " besides 
the gigantic and singular tombs cut out of the rock, Pe- 
tra contains a great number of monuments, of which the 
ruins attest the beautiful style and the magnificence ; hut 
of all these buildings , the only one which has resisted the 
ravages of time is that which is here represented. Situ- 
ated to the west of the city, on the bank of the river, it 
towers over the innumerable wreck of buildings (debris) 
which covers the soil, and yet presents, though in ruins, 
a beautiful mass, and beautiful details of architecture. 
The cornice which surmounts the temple is in a pure and 
elegant style. In the back-ground is seen the antique 
pavement, as it still exists." 

In explanation of the plate which represents the ruins 
of a triumphal arch, it is stated, " The passage under 


the triumphal arch leads to a public place, a species of 
forum, paved with large flag-stones, which reach to the 
temple that is seen in the back-ground. The monument 
represented in this view formed three arcades, of which 
one, that in the middle, is by far the largest, and served 
for carriages, and the two others for foot-passengers. 
There is observable in the construction some analogy to 
the triumphal arch which terminates the colonnade of 
Palmyra, towards the east. The pilaster, which still re- 
mains, is that which separates the middle arch from that 
of one of the corners." " This view is taken from the 
west, and represents the same monument described (as 
above) in the preceding livraison. In the back-ground 
is seen one part of the grand funereal monuments." 

Other plates present to view the vast magnificence of 
the tombs of Petra. There is one tomb, of which a view 
is given, which is peculiarly deserving of notice, there 
being engraven on it a Latin inscription, with a name of 
a magistrate, Quintus Praetextus Florentinus, who died in 
that city, being governor of that part of Arabia Petraea. 
" It behoved to be," it is said, " about the time of 
Adrian or Antoninus Pius," or at a period unquestion- 
ably several centuries posterior to the latest of the pre- 

Elaborate descriptions of splendid scenes by the pen 
of travellers are, as Laborde remarks, sometimes charged 
with being exaggerated. But the views which he gives 
of the Khasne of Petra show that the verbal description 
might be highly wrought, and yet come short of the 
truth ; even as he and others remark that the pencil 
itself can convey only an inadequate representation of 
* the magnificent edifice,' which, to this day, is only 
slightly defaced. 

^^ I will make thee perpetual desolations, and thy cities 
shall not return, and ye shall know that I am the 
LoRD."^ " Every one that goeth by it shall be 
ASTONISHED. "*» "I would," says a recent traveller, 
" that the skeptic could stand as I did, among the ruins 
' Bzek. XXXV. 9. 3 jgr. xlix 17. 



of this city among the rocks, and there open the sacred 
book and read the words of the inspired penman, written 
when this desolate place was one of the greatest cities in 
the world. I see the scoff arrested, his cheek pale, his 
lip quivering, and his heart quaking with fear, as the 
ruined city cries out to him in a voice loud and power- 
ful as that of one risen from the dead : — though he would 
not believe Moses and the prophets, he believes the hand- 
writing of God himself, in the desolation and eternal ruin 
around him."* 

" Days and weeks," says Lord Lindsay, " might be 
spent here (at Petra) if every excavation were visited. 
We left the valley after revisiting the Khasne, and ex- 
ploring several of the excavated dwellings, for it is clear, 
I think, both from the language of Scripture and the ap- 
pearance of the caves themselves, that the majority, if 
not all of them, were the abodes of the living, not of the 
dead. Such is Petra, the Sela of Scripture, the Hagar 
of the Arabs, each word signifying the same. ' Thy ter- 
ribleness hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine 
heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of The Rock, 
that boldest the height of the hill : though thou make 
thy nest as high as the eagle, — though thou set thy nest 
among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the 
Lord.' "2 

..." We passed many ruins and excavations, both 
on this and on the other side of Petra. "^ 

" On leaving Eel Webe, we entered the low barren 
ridges that skirt Wady Araba on the west, and, for 
several hours during this and the following day, traversed 
a country of the most utter desolation, hills succeeding 
hills, without the slightest picturesque beauty, covered 
with loose flints and gravel ; sterility in its most repul- 
sive garb ; it made the very heart ache, and the spirits 
sink. And such is Edom, * most desolate,' as prophecy 
foretold it should be," fee* " We encamped in Wady 

1 Incidents of Ti-avels in Arabia Petraea, &c., by an Americau. 
Vol. ii. p. 76. New York, 1837. 

2 Vol. ii. pp. 38, 39. s Ibid. p. 41. 4 Ibid. p. 46. 

200 IDUMEA. 

Koumou, near the extensive ruins of an ancient walled 
town, bearing the same name. We saw fragments of 
pillars lying about, but no inscriptions ; the town is, in- 
deed, a mere heap of stones."^ " I have no doubt that 
thi^s is the Elusa of the Romans, the first Roman town 
on the « great road from Jerusaleni to Aila."^ 

Lord Claud Hamilton, who, together with Lord Rokeby 
and Mr. Littleton, visited Petra in 1839, is a still more 
recent eye-witness of the predicted desolation which has 
come on Edom and its capital. After quoting some of 
these prophecies, he adds, " Nothing can exceed the 
desolation of its present condition, although the signs of 
its former wealth and power are so durable as to have 
remained many centuries after it was deserted, and they 
look as if as many more may pass over them without 
working any visible change. The commencement of the 
prophecy has been most wonderfully fulfilled ; for although 
it was beyond the foresight of man to imagine that so 
wealthy and powerful a city should be deserted and deso- 
late, yet all human works and habitations are subject to 
a like fate ; but the words, * 1 will make thee small among 
the heathen,' have been actually accomplished to such a 
degree that the very site of Petra has for centuries been 
unknown. That a great city should be thus swept from 
the memory of man, and blotted out, for a long season, 
from the knowledge of the world, is a most striking ma- 
nifestation of the truth of the prophetic record, and ut- 
terly exceeded all human foresight and sagacity. But 
every step in this country exhibits some wonderful fulfil- 
ment of the doom which was pronounced while it was 
flowing with riches and teeming with inhabitants ; every 
specific misfortune has overtaken this devoted kingdom, 
and yet there are innumerable remains of what it once 

A few extracts from Lord Claud Hamilton's gra- 
phic description of Petra will be interesting to the rea- 
der : — 

1 Travels of Lord Lindsay, vol. ii. pp. 47, 48. 

2 Ibid. p. 48.. 

IDUMEA. 201 

" Following a path which wound amongst undulating 
hills and rocks, we gradually found ourselves surrounded 
by the peculiar remains of this singular locality. On 
both sides were curiously shaped tombs, either excavated 
from the living rock, with fanciful exteriors, or boldly 
cut out from it, and standing apart in square masses with 
ornamented fagades, and surmounted with battlements, 
steps, small pyramidal forms, and other devices, equally 
hewn out from the mountain. Many of these excava- 
tions may have been intended for the living, as they con- 
tain several apartments. On the left the abrupt cliffs rise 
to a great height, and, towering over the undulated site 
of the ancient capital, exhibit on their pierced sides nu- 
merous marks of the industry and pecuHar taste of the 
inhabitants of Selah. In front is an extensive space, par- 
tially covered with grass, shrubs, and ruins, and inter- 
sected with ravines, in which it is evident that streams 
formerly flowed ; beyond, some lower hills form the 
eastern horizon, whilst to the right another lofty range of 
precipitous hills hem in the valley, and present a con- 
tinued line of splendid fagades, and noble excavated 
temples and palaces, which at once strike the beholder 
as the most extraordinary sight that the imagination can 
conceive. Nothing can exceed the singularity of the 
general aspect, nor do the excavations lose any of their 
marvels on a nearer approach. Having passed the single 
column of which Laborde speaks, and also the square 
palace and triumphal arch, the full and distinct view of 
the wondrous line of magnificent excavations burst on 
my sight. It is impossible by any description to convey 
an idea of the general aspect of this most extraordinary 
place, where art and nature seem to have striven for the 
mastery, and each has contributed to render it alike the 
most wonderful and instructive sight that can possibly 
be surveyed by man. The high cliffs of the northern 
boundary present to view an endless variety of excava- 
tions, dwellings, tombs, and temples." 

The theatre of Petra, like that of Ammon, is not the 
least remarkable memorial of its populousness and 

202 IDUMEA. 

wealth, constructed, as it was, for the simultaneous and 
transient assemblage of the gayest of its citizens, and 
not, though both be equally empty now, like the tombs, 
for the permanent abode of the successive generations 
of its nobles. As measured by the same intelligent and 
observant traveller, " it consist* of thirty-eight rows of 
high steps or stone benches, of which the uppermost is 
152 paces in length." And how different now is a 
night-scene there from what it was, when the capital of 
Edom, deceived by its terribleness, and fearless of dan- 
ger, was given to its pleasures, and the shout of a multi- 
tude was heard in triumph over Israel. With other 
feelings the solitary sojourner of a day, as may be farther 
related in facts, not painted in fancy, contemplates the 
scene of desolated grandeur over which the word of the 
Lord is triumphant. 

" It was the season of full moon. I went out to en- 
joy the fine effect produced by the shades amongst 
these high cliffs, and to contemplate this scene of depart- 
ed grandeur in the stillness of night, which so well 
accorded with its desolate appearance. Nothing could 
exceed the beauty of the evening. The clear sky 
spangled with innumerable bright stars, whilst the light 
which rules the night cast its fine pale beams on the 
many temples, palaces, dwellings, and tombs that every 
cliff and rock presented ; their numbers, inexplicable 
situations, and apparent want of arrangement and sys- 
tem, rendered the scene indescribably interesting. I 
chose the theatre as one point of observation. There, 
alone, surrounded by tenantless cliffs, I tried to conjure 
up some of the many scenes which had been enacted 
there, when the rocks resounded with the applauses of 
assembled thousands, and this deserted spot was crowded 
with the noble, the great, and the wealthy, brilliant with 
light, and gorgeous from the dresses of the spectators — 
the power and glory of Edom seemed as a dream which 
could not be credited. Turning homewards again, the 
view of the open ground, the arch, the square palace, 
and Jie cliff beyond, was peculiarly striking. 

IDUMEA. 203 

** The springs have been dried up to such an extent 
as to render the renewal of the general fertility of Edom 
impossible. In the vicinity of the theatre of Petra, and 
in other places along the course of the stream, reeds and 
shrubs grow luxuriantly, oleanders and wild figs abound, 
and give proof that a little cultivation would again cover 
the rock, and fill the cliflfs with the numberless gardens 
w^hich once adorned them. The traces of former fertility 
are innumerable ; and it is likewise evident, that every 
spot capable of sustaining vegetable life was carefully 
watered and cultivated. There are numerous grooves 
in the rocks to convey the rain-water to tombs, or to the 
Uttle clefts in which even now figs are found. Every 
spot capable of being so protected has been walled up, 
however small the space gained, and however difficult 
the means of securing it. The ancient inhabitants seem 
to have left no accessible place untouched. They have 
exhibited equal art and industry in eliciting from the 
grand walls of their marvellous capital whatever the 
combination of cHmate, irrigation, and botanical skill 
could foster in the scanty soil that was afforded them. 
The hanging gardens must have produced an enchanting 
effect amongst the noble buildings of the town when it 
was in all its glory. "^ 

Edom has been rendered most desolate ; and its gene- 
ral desolation is seen to be irreclaimable. Patches 
covered with wild flowers, growing in rich luxuriance, 
and some cultivated spots in the bottom of the valleys, 
may serve as a token of what Idumea was. But 
although destined to be the scene of judgments which 
yet await it, a remnant is all that is left of Edom. And 
it is written, " In that day I will raise up the tabernacle 
of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches there- 
of; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as 
in the days of old : that they may possess the remnant 
of Edom,^^ &c. — But judgments on Mount Seir have 
yet to prepare the way of the conversion of Israel, — " I 
will make myself known among them when I have 
' Loid Claud Hamilton's Journal. 

204 IPUMEA. 

judged thee." — "When the whole earth rejoiceth, 1 
will make thee desolate."^ 

They shall he called the border of vrickedness. Strabo 
contrasts the quiet disposition of the citizens of Petra 
with the contentious spirit of the foreigners who resided 
there; and the uninterrupted tranquillity which the 
townsmen mutually maintained together, excited the 
admiration of Athenodorus." The fine gold is changed : 
no such people are there now to be found. Though 
Burckhardt travelled as an Arab, associated with them, 
submitted to all their privations, and was so completely 
master of their language and of their manners as to 
escape detection, he was yet reduced to that state within 
the boundaries of Edom, which alone can secure tran- 
quillity to the traveller in the desert ; " he had nothing 
with him that could attract the notice, or excite the cu- 
pidity of the Bedouins," and was even stripped of some 
rags that covered his wounded ankles.^ The Arabs in 
that quarter, he observes, " have the reputation of being 
very daring thieves." In like manner a Motselim who 
had been twenty years in office, pledged himself to Cap- 
tains Irby and Mangles, and the travellers who accompa- 
nied them, (in presence of the governor of Jerusalem,) 
that the Arabs of Wady Mousa are "a most savage and 
treacherous race," and added, that they would make use 
of their Frank's blood for a medicine. That this charac- 
ter of wickedness and cruelty was not misapplied, they 
had too ample proof, not only in the dangers with which 
they were threatened, but by the fact which they learned 
on the spot, that upwards of thirty pilgrims from Barbary 
had been murdered at Petra the preceding year, by the 
men of Wady Mousa.* Even the Arabs of the surround- 
ing deserts, as already stated, dread to approach it ; and 
towards the borders of Edom on the south, " the Arabs 
about Akaba," as described by Pococke, and as expe- 

> Amos ix. 11, 12; Ezek. xxxv. 11, 14. 

2 Strabo, p. 779. ^ Burckhardt's Travels, p. 438. 

4 Irby and Mangles's Travels, p. 417; Macmichael's Journey, 
pp. 202, 234. 



rienced by Burckhardt, " are a very bad people, and 
notorious robbers, and are at war with all others."* 
Such evidence, all undesignedly given, clearly shows 
that in truth Edom is called the border of wickedness. 

Thorns shall come up in her palaces^ nettles and bram- 
bles in the fortresses thereof In lieu of any direct and 
explicit statement in corroboration of the literal fulfil- 
ment of this prediction, it may be worthy of observation, 
that the camels of the Bedouins feed upon the thorny 
branches of the Talh (gum arabic) tree, of which they 
are extremely fond ; that the large thorns of these trees 
are a great annoyance to them, and to their cattle : and 
that they are so abundant in different parts of Idumea, 
that each Bedouin carries in his girdle a pair of small 
pincers to extract the thorns from his feet.^ Direct evi- 
dence may now be adduced (13th edit.) from the last pub- 
lished livraisons of M. Laborde. In describing the exist- 
ing state of Petra, he states, that the thorns rise to the same 
height with the columns ; creeping and" prickly plants 
hide the remains of the works of man ; the thorn, or 
bramble, reaches the top of the monuments, grows on 
their cornices, and conceals the base of the columns. 

But the precise fact has still more recently (23d edit.) 
been ascertained or confirmed, after a special examination 
on the spot, and with a direct reference to the prediction. 

" A square palace, near to the triumphal arch, is the 
only edifice of masonry standing. I entered it," writes 
Lord Claud Hamilton, " and examined the interior. 
The wooden joists still remain in the walls, apparently 
strong and sound. The usual arrangement of chambers 
exists, but only the lofty walls and partitions remain. 
The ground is strewed with fragments of the roof, hewn 
stone, and portions of the cornice, amongst which num- 
bers of thistles, prickly plants, and nettles grow. At first, 
I was not certain about the nettles ; but wishing to ascer- 
tain their identity, I put my hand to them, and thought 
they had not the force of English nettles, yet they gave 

' Pococke's Description of the East, vol. i. p. 136. 
2 Burckhardt's Travels in Syria, p. 446. 

206 IDUMEA. 

a pungent feeling, which, if the plant were stronger, 
would amount to a sting. They had exactly the leaf; 
but it was late in the season, so that want of moisture 
had probably weakened them." Thus there were nettles 
in the only palace that the proud city of Petra contains 
ertect. ^ Thorns come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles 
in the fortresses thereof. 

I will make thee small among tJie nations, thou art 
greatly despised. Though the border of wickedness, and 
the retreat of a horde of thieves, who are distinguished 
as peculiarly savage even among the wild Arabs, and 
thus an object of dread as well as of astonishment to 
those who pass thereby, yet, contrasted with what it was, 
or reckoned among the nations, Edom is small indeed. 
Within almost all its boundary, it may be said that none 
abide, or have any fixed or permanent residence ; and 
instead of the superb structures, the works of various 
ages, which long adorned its cities, the huts of the Arabs, 
where even huts they have, are mere mud hovels of 
" mean and ragged appearance," which, in general, are 
deserted on the least alarm. But miserable habitations 
as these are, they scarcely seem to exist anywhere 
throughout Edom, but on a single point on its borders ; 
and wherever the Arabs otherwise wander in search of 
spots for pasturage for their cattle, (found in hollows, or 
near to springs after the winter rains,) tents are their only 
covering. ' Those which pertain to the more powerful 
tribes, are sometimes both numerous and large ; yet, 
though they form at best but a frail dwelling, many of 
them are " very low and small." Near to the ruins of 
Petra, Burckhardt passed an encampment of Bedouin 
tents, most of which were " the smallest he had ever 
seen, about four feet high, and ten in length ;" and to- 
wards the southwest border of Edom, he met with a few 
wanderers who had no tents with them, and whose only 
shelter from the burning rays of the sun, and the heavy 
dews of night, was the scanty branches of the Talh trees. 
The subsistence of the Bedouins is often as precEirious 
as their habitations are mean ; the flocks they tend, oi 

IDUMEA. 207 

which they pillage from more fertile regions, are their 
only possessions ; and in that land where commerce long 
concentrated its wealth, and through which the treasures 
of Ophir passed, the picking of gum arabic from thorny 
branches is now the poor occupation, the semblance of 
industry practised by the wild and wandering tenants of 
a desert. Edom is small among the nations ; and how 
greatly is it despised, when the public authorities at Con- 
stantinople deny any knowledge of it, or of the ruins of 
its capital ; when the city of Petra is thus forgotten and 
unknown among the representatives of the villagers of 
Byzantium ! 

Concerning Edom, thus saith the Lord, Is wisdom no 
more in Teman9 is understanding perished from the pru- 
dent ? Shall I not destroy the wise men out of Edom, 
and understanding out of the mount of Esau ? Fallen 
and despised as it now is, Edom — did not the pre- 
scription of many ages abrogate its right — might lay 
claim to the title of having been the first seat of learning, 
as well as the centre of commerce. While splendid 
remains of ancient art give undoubted proof that wisdom 
and understanding subsisted in the mount of Esau after 
the age of the prophets, the first of modern philosophers 
thus speaks of the wisdom of the Edomites in the earliest 
ages. " The Egyptians having learned the sJdll of the 
Edomites, began now to observe the position of the stars, 
and the length of the solar year, for enabling them to 
know the position of the stars at any time, and to sail by 
them at all times without sight of the shore ; and thus 
gave a beginning to astronomy and navigation."^ "It 
seems that letters, and astronomy, and the trade of car- 
penters, were invented by the merchants of the Red Sea, 
and that they were propagated from Arabia Petraea into 
Egypt, Chaldea, Syria, Asia Minor, and Europe."^ 
While the philosopher may thus think of Edom with re- 
spect, neither the admirer of genius, the man of feeling, 
nor the child of devotion will, even to this day, seek 

' Sir Isaac Newton's Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms, p. 208 
2 Ibid. p. 312. 

208 IDUMEA. 

from any Igind a richer treasure of plaintive poetry, of 
impassioned eloquence, and of fervid piety, than Edom 
has bequeathed to the world in the book of Job. It 
exhibits to us, in language the most pathetic and sublime, 
all that a man could feel, in the outward pangs of his 
body, and the inner writhings of his mind, of the frailties 
of his frame, and of the dissolution of his earthly com- 
forts and endearments : all that mortal can discern, by 
meditating on the ways, and contemplating the works of 
God, of the omniscience and omnipotence of the Most 
High, and of the inscrutable dispensations of his provi- 
dence: all that knowledge which could first tell, in 
written word, of Arcturus, and Orion, and Pleiades ; 
and all that devotedness of soul, and immortality of hope, 
which — with patience that faltered not even when the 
heart was bruised, and almost broken, and the body co- 
vered over with distress — could say, " Though he slay 
me, yet will I trust in him." 

But if the question now be asked, is understanding 
perished out of Edom ? the answer, like every response 
of the prophetic word, may be briefly given : it is. The 
minds of the Bedouins are as uncultivated as the deserts 
they traverse. Practical wisdom is, in general, the first 
that man learns, and the last that he retains. And the 
simple but significant fact already alluded to, that the 
clearing away of a little rubbish, merely " to allow the 
water to flow" into an ancient cistern, in order to render 
it useful to themselves, " is an undertaking far beyond 
the views of the wandering Arabs," shows that under- 
standing is indeed perished from among them. They 
view the indestructible works of former ages not only 
with wonder, but with superstitious regard, and con- 
sider them as the work of genii. They look upon a 
European as a magician, and believe that, having seen 
any spot where they imagine that treasures are deposited, 
he can " afterwards command the guardian of the trea- 
sure to set the whole before him."* In Teman, which 
yet maintains a precarious existence, the inhabitants pos- 
' Burckhardt's Travels, p. 439. 

IDUMEA. ^ 209 

sess the desire without the means of knowledge. The 
Koran is their only study, and contains the sum of their 
wisdom ; and although he was but a " miserable com- 
forter," and was overmastered in argument by a kins- 
man stricken with affliction, yet no Temanite can now 
discourse with either the wisdom or the pathos of Elir 
phaz of old. Wisdom is no more in Teman, and under- 
standing has perished out of tlie mount of Esau. 

While there is thus subsisting evidence and proof that 
the ancient inhabitants of Edom were renowned for wis- 
dom as well as for power, and while desolation has 
spread so widely over it, that it can scarcely be said to 
be inhabited by man ; there still are tenants who hold 
possession of it, to whom it is abandoned by man, and 
to whom it was decreed by a voice more than mortal. 

" But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it 
(Idumea;) the owl also, and the raven, shall dwell in it. 
It shall be an habitation for dragons and a court for 
owls. The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with 
the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr (the hairy or 
rough creature) shall cry to his fellow ; the screech-owl 
also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest. 
There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and 
hatch, and gather under her shadow; there shall the 
vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate. 
Seek ye out of the book of the Lord and read ; no one 
of these shall fail, none shall w^ant her mate ; for my 
mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered 
them. And he hath cast the lot for them, and his hand 
hath divided it unto them by line ; they shall possess it 
for ever ; from generation to generation shall they dwell 

Such is the precision of the prophecies, so remote are 
they from all ambiguity of meaning, and so distinct are 
the events which they detail, that it is almost unneces- 
sary to remark that the different animals here enumerated 
were not all in the same manner, or in the same degree, 
to be possessors of Edom. Some of them were to rest, 
' Isa. xxxiv. 11, 13—17. 



to meet, to be gathered there ; the owl and the raven 
were to dwell in it, and it was to be a habitation for 
dragons ; while of the cormorant and bittern, it is em- 
phatically said, that they were to possess it. And is it 
not somewhat beyond a mere fortuitous coincidence, im- 
perfect as the information is f^specting Edom, that, in 
" seeliing out" proof concerning these animals, and 
whether none of them do fail, the most decisive evi- 
dence should, in the first instance, be unconsciously 
communicated from the boundaries of Edom, of the one 
which is first noted in the prediction, and which was to 
possess the land? It will at once be conceded, that 
in whatever country any particular animal is unknown, 
no proper translation of its name can -there be given ; 
and that for the purpose of designating or identifying it, 
reference must be had to the original name, and to the 
natural history of the country in which it is known. 
And, without any ambiguity or perplexity arising from 
the translation of the word, or any need of tracing it 
through any other languages to ascertain its import, the 
identical word of the original, with scarcely the slightest 
variation, (and that only the want of the final vowel in 
the Hebrew word, vowels in that language being often 
supplied in the enunciation or by points,) is, from the 
affinity of the Hebrew and Arabic, used on the very spot 
by the Arabs, to denote the very bird which may literally 
be said to possess the land. While in the last inhabited 
village of Moab, and close upon the borders of Edom, 
Burckhardt noted the animals which frequented the 
neighbouring territory, in which he distinctly specifies 
Shera, the land of the Edomites ; and he relates that " the 
bird katta* is met with in immense numbers. They fly 
in such large flocks that the Arab boys often kill two or 
three of them at a time, merely by throwing a stick 
^mong them."^ If any objector be here inclined 
o say, that it is not to be wondered at that any par- 

• riNp kath, a species of partridge. It is sometimes written in 
:he original, katha. Onkel, Nnp, vide Simonis Lexicon, p. 1393. 
2 Burckhardt's Travels in Syria, p. 406. 

IDUMEA. 211 

ticular bird should be found in any given country, 
that it might continue to remain for a term of ages, and 
that such a surmise would not exceed the natural proba- 
bilities of the case ; the fact may be freely admitted as 
applicable, perhaps, to most countries of the globe. But 
who ever, elsewhere, saw any wild bird in any country 
in flocks so immensely numerous that two or three of 
them could be killed by the single throw of a stick from 
the hand of a boy ; and that this could be stated, not as 
a forcible and perhaps false illustration to denote their 
number, nor as a wonderful chance or unusual incident, 
but as a fact of frequent occurrence ? Who ever, else- 
where, heard of such a fact, not as happening merely on 
a sea-rock, the resort of myriads of birds, or their tem- 
porary resting-place when exhausted in their flight, but 
in an extensive country, their permanent abode ? Or if, 
among the manifold discoveries of travellers in modern 
times, it were really related that such occupants of a 
country are to be found, or that a corresponding fact 
exists in any other region of the earth which was once 
tenanted by man, who can also "find" in the records 
of a high antiquity the prediction that declared it ? Of 
what country now inhabited could the same fact be now 
with certainty foretold ? and where is the seer who can 
discern the vision, fix on the spot over the world's sur- 
face, and select, from the whole winged tribe, the name 
of the first in order, and the greatest in number, of the 
future and chief possessors of the land ? 

Of the bittern (kephud) as a joint possessor with the 
katta of Idumea, evidence has not been given or ascer- 
tained : — but numerous as the facts have been which 
modern discoveries have consigned over to the service 
of revelation, that word of truth which fears no investi- 
gation can appeal to other facts, unknown to history, and 
still undiscovered, but registered in prophecy, and thert 
long since revealed.* 

* Of the different animals, respecting which it is said, in tho 
judfjments denounced against Idumea, "No one of these shall 
fail," the first in order are the riNp kath and iMip kqihud, or, as read 

212 IDUMEA. 

The owl also, and the raven, (or crow,) shall dwell in 
it. The owl and raven do dwell in it. Captain Man- 

wilh thB points, kippod, translated in our yersion, the cormorant 
and the bittern. It has long been my opinion, as intimated in 
previous editions, that -wop is the hedgehog or the porcupine, 
ai stated by Bochart, who calls* the one a species of the 
other. And as, from the similarity of the Hebrew and Ara- 
bic names, the kath may be identified with the kattay so also 
may the kephud with kunfud, the Arabic name of the hedgehog 
or porcupine. In Bochart's (Bocharti Opera, tom. iii. p. 1035— 
1038, cap. xxxvi.) learned investigation or treatise on the name, 
he states that the word kunphud includes both, as is clear from 
Avicenna, who mentions the porcupine as one of the species. In 
Damir, whom he also quotes, the female hedgehog is called the 
mother of the porcupine, and the porcupine is called the large 
hedgehog. The Sepluagint and Vulgate translate the word t^^'^t 
and ericius the hedgehog. That the kunphud is the hedgehog, no 
one, says Bochart, will deny who will read Damir, where kmiphud 
is named abussuchi, the father of spines ; and ankado, i. e. a decorti- 
cator, or peeler; and alasaiso, because it wanders in the night; 
hence the proverb among the Arabs, — a greater night wanderer 
than the kunphud. That the kippod (or kephud) of the Hebrews, 
— the kuphad of the Chaldeans, — and the kunphud of the Arabs, 
says Bochart, are the same animal, will be acknowledged by every 
one who has any knowledge of this language. Lowth calls it the 
porcupine. Gesenius and Parkhurst translate the word, the 

Being persuaded that such was the significancy of the word, 
on passing within two days' journey of Petra, accompanied by an 
Arab guide who had repeatedly visited it, I made special inquiry, 
wherever opportunity offered, in passing through the desert, and 
at Jerusalem and Hebron, whether hedgehogs or porcupines are 
to be found in Idumea. Different Arabs who were questioned 
concerning it, knew the kunphud well. The guide described it as 
an animal with four feet, and a small head, which creeps into 
holes among the ruins, and is covered with very strong hair. Ac- 
cording to his account, they abound in Wady Mousa; but are not 
to be seen in the day-time, as they come forth only at night, and 
thus they may have been unnoticed by travellers. He said that 
some of them, carried from Wady Mousa, would likely be found 
in Hebron. On inquiry at that town, I was informed that the 
Arabs caught them among the ruins of Wady Mousa, by putting 
cloaks over their holes during night, and catching them on their 
return ; and that the reason why they caught and carried them to 
Hebron was, that their blood was accounted a cure for sore eyes. 
There being none of them at that time in Hebron, M. Elias, a 
Greek Christian, offered to send to Petra for some of them, and to 
forward them for me to Jerusalem. But the evidence of their 

IDUMEA. 213 

gles relates, that while he and his fellow-travellers were 
examining the ruins and contemplating the sublime 
scenery of Petra, " the screaming of the eagles, hawks, 
and owls, who were soaring above their heads in con- 
siderable numbers, seemingly annoyed at any one ap- 
proaching their lonely habitation, added much to the 
singularity of the scene." " The' fields of Tafyle," 
situated in the immediate vicinity of Edom, are, accord- 
ing to the observations of Burckhardt, "frequented by 
an immense number of crows."* " I expected," says 
Seetzen, (alluding to his purposed tour through Idumea, 
and to the information he had received from the Arabs,) 
" to make several discoveries in mineralogy, as well as 
in the animals and vegetables of the country, on the 
manna of the desert, the ravens,"^ &c. 

It shall he a habitation for dragons {serpents.) I laid 
his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. 
The evidence, though derived from testimony, and not 
from personal observation, of two travellers of so con- 
trary characters and views as Shaw and Volney, is so 
accordant and apposite, that it may well be sustained in 
lieu of more direct proof. The former represents the 
land of Edom, and the wilderness of which it now 
forms part, as abounding with a variety of lizards and 
vipers which are very dangerous and troublesome.^ 
And the narrative given by Volney, already quoted, is 
equally decisive as to the fact. The Arabs, in general, 
avoid the ruins of the cities of Idumea, " on account 

being actually taken in Edom would have rested merely on the 
testimony of the Arab bearer, and would scarcely have been 
satisfactory. An English traveller stated that he saw a dead por- 
cupine in a valley near to Petra. Though not amounting to a full 
elucidation, as required in the text, these circumstances, to which 
others might be added, are worthy of notice, as they may lead to 
farther inquiry, and complete the proof, that the kephud, like the 
katta, with its almost unchanged name, possesses Edom, and has its 
habitation in the midst of the ruins of Petra, and that no one of 
these do fail. 

' Burckhardt's Travels, p. 405. 

2 Seetzen's Travels, p. 46. 

3 Shaw's Travels, vol. ii. pp. 105, 338. 

214 IDUMEA. 

of tJie enormous scorpions with which they swarms Its 
cities thus deserted by man, and abandoned to their un- 
disturbed and hereditary possession, Edom may be justly 
called the inheritance of dragons. 

The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet vnth the 
wild: beasts of the island, (or -the borders of the sea.) 
Instead of these words of the English version, Parkhurst 
renders the former the ravenous birds inhabiting the toil- 
derness. The interpretation was given long before the 
fact to which it refers was made known. But it has 
now been ascertained (and without any allusion, on the 
other hand, to the prediction) that eagles,* hawks, and 
ravens, all ravenous birds, are common in Edom, and 
do not fail to illustrate the prediction as thus translated. 
But when animals from different regions are said to meet, 
the prophecy thus implying that some of them at least 
did not properly pertain to the country, would seem to 
require some further verification. And of all the won- 
derful circumstances attached to the history, or pertaining 
to the fate of Edom, there is one which is not to be 
ranked among the least in singularity, that bears no remote 
application to the prefixed prophecy, and that ought not, 
perhaps, to pass here unnoted. It is recorded in an 
ancient chronicle, that the emperor Decius caused fierce 
lions and lionesses to be transported from [the deserts 
of] Africa to the borders of Palestine and Arabia, in 
order that, propagating there, they might act as an annoy- 
ance and a barrier to the barbarous Saracens.^ Between 
Arabia and Palestine Jies the doomed and execrated land 
of Edom. And may it not thus be added, that a cause 
so unnatural and unforeseen would greatly tend to the 
destruction of the flocks, and to the desolation of all the 
adjoining territory, and seem to be as if the king of the 
forest was to take possession of it for his subjects ? And 
may it not be even literally said, that the wild beasts of 

' Burckhardt's Travels, p. 405. 

2 'O avToc AuKio? /ict<nKivg n-ya.y& oltto th; Ajigtiuii xtovrm ^o^t^ov^ KU.t XiAtvcttf 
K-u oLTO^ua-ty Mf TO Xi/uurov AVstrohHf etTTo A^d/S/Af X4U riaiXit/irT/vxf jaf tov K/g- 
jaa-icy Kato-rgiu, wgoj to TroMirau ytvetv Ski touc fitt^^apovi lagtiKmovi. (Chro- 
nicon Alexandrinum, ad an. C. 358. Relandi Palaesiina, p. 97.) 

IDUMEA. 215 

the desert meet there with the wild beasts of the borders 
of the sea 9 

The satyr shall dwell there. The satyr is entirely a 
fabulous animal. The word (soir) literally means a 
rough hairy one : and, like a synonymous word in both 
the Greek and Latin languages which has the same sig- 
nification, has been translated both by lexicographers 
and commentators, the goat.^ Parkhurst says, that, in 
this sense, he would understand this very passage : and 
Lowth distinctly asserts, without assigning to it any 
other meaning, that " the word originally signifies ^o«^."^ 
Such respectable and well-known authorities have been 
cited, because their decision must have rested on criti- 
cism alone, as it was impossible that their minds could 
have been biassed by any knowledge of the fact in 
reference to Edom. It was their province, and that of 
others, to illustrate its meaning: it was Burckhardt's, 
however unconsciously, to bear, from ocular observation, 
witness to its truth. " In all the Wadys south of the 
Modjel and El Asha, (pointing to Edom,) " large herds 
of mountain-goats are met with. They pasture in 
flocks of forty and fifty together."^ They dwell there. 

It shall be a court for owls. The screech-owl also 
shall rest there^ and find for herself a place of rest. 
There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and 
hatch, and gatJier under her shadow : tJiere shall the vul- 
tures also be gathered, every one with her mate. JYo one 
of these shall fail, none shall want her mate. While, as 
already quoted, the screaming of the eagles, hawks, and 
owls, which in considerable numbers soared above their 
heads, was heard in the day-time by one party of travel- 
lers, others (M. Laborde, &c.) who more lately followed 

' " So the Greek T§'-t>^c, a he-goat, is from t^^xjuc, rough, on ac- 
count of the roughness of his hair, and the Latin hircus, a he-goat, 
for hirtus, rough." (Parkhurst's Lexicon.) 

2 Lowth assigns the reason why the word is translated satyr; it 
is supposed that evil spirits of old time appeared in the shape of 
goats, as the learned Bochart has proved. (Isa. xiii. 21.) 

3 Burckhardt's Travels in Syria. 

216 IDUMEA. 

them and remained longer on the spot, relate in a like in- 
cidental manner, that at night the screech-owl was heard 
above the rest. There she rests, and finds for herself a 
place of rest. And as each or any of these is known to 
man, and can be distinguished even at night, or when 
unseen, by its peculiar scream ; so, now that the cry 
of a wild beast, or the sound of a reptile, or the scream- 
ing of a bird of prey, are the only forms or signs of 
recognition among the tenants of the capital of Edom, 
it is thus that tJiey are gathered together, every one vnth 
her mate. 

But the evidence respecting all the animals specified 
in the prophecy, as the future possessors of Edom, is not 
yet complete, and is difficult to be ascertained. And, 
in words that seem to indicate this very difficulty, it is 
still reserved for future travellers to disclose the facts ; 
and for future inquirers, whether Christian or infidel, to 
seek out of the book of the Lord and read ; and to " find 
that no one of these do fail." Yet, recent as the disclo- 
sure of any information respecting them has been, and 
offered, as it now for the first time is, for the considera- 
tion of every candid mind, the positive terms and single- 
ness of object of the prophecies themselves, and the 
undesigned and decisive evidence, are surely enough to 
show how greatly these several specific predictions and 
their respective facts exceed all possibility of their being 
the word or the work of man, and how clearly there may 
be discovered in them all, if sight itself be conviction, 
the credential of inspiration, and the operation of His 
hands, to whose prescience futurity is open ; to whose 
power all nature is subservient ; and " whose mouth 
it hath commanded, and whose spirit it hath gathered 

Noted as Edom was for its terribleness, and possessed 
of a capital city, from which even a feeble people could 
not easily have been dislodged, there scarcely could have 
been a question, even among its enemies, to what jaeop/g 
that country would eventually belong. And it never 
could have been thought of by any native of another 

IDUMEA. 217 

land, as the Jewish prophets were, nor by any unin- 
spired mortal whatever, that a kingdom, which had pre 
viously subsisted so long, (and in which princes ceasea 
not to reign, commence to flourish, and " a people of 
great opulence" to dwell for more than six hundred 
years thereafter,) would be finally extinct, that all its 
cities would be for ever desolate, and, though it could 
have boasted, more than any other land, of indestructi- 
ble habitations for men, that their habitations would be 
desolate ; and that certain wild animals^ mentioned by 
name, would, in different manners and degrees, possess 
the country from generation to generation. 

There shall not he any remaining of the house of Esau. 
Edom shall he cut off for ever. The aliens of Judah 
ever look with wistful eyes to the land of their fathers ; 
but no Edomite is now to be found to dispute the right 
of any animal to the possession of it, or to banish the 
owls from the temples and tombs of Edom. But the 
house of Esau did remain, and existed in great power, 
till after the commencement of the Christian era, a period 
far too remote from the date of the prediction for their 
subsequent history to have been foreseen by man. The 
Idumeans were soon after mingled wdth the Nabatheans. 
And in the third century, their language was disused, 
and their very name, as designating any people, had 
utterly perished ; and their country itself having become 
an outcast from Syria, among whose kingdoms it had 
long been numbered, was united to Arabia Petraea.* 
Though the descendants of the twin-born Esau and 
Jacob have met a diametrically opposite fate, the fact is 
no less marvellous and undisputed, than the prediction 
in each case is alike obvious and true. While the pos- 
terity of Jacob have been " dispersed in every country 
under heaven," and are " scattered among all nations," 
and have ever remained distinct from them all, and 
while it is also declared that " a full end will never be 
made of them ;" the Edomites, though they existed as a 
nation for more than seventeen hundred years, have^ as a 
' Origen, lib. iii. in Job. 


period of nearly equal duration has proved, been cut off 
for ever ; and while Jews are in eveiy land, there is not 
any remaining, on any spot of earth, of the house of 

Idumea, in aid of a neighbouring state, did send 
forth, on a sudden, an army of twenty thousand armed 
men ; it contained many towns and villages long after 
the Christian era ; successive kings and princes reigned 
in Petra ; and magnificent tombs and temples, whose 
empty chambers and naked walls of wonderful archi- 
tecture still strike the traveller with amazement, were 
constructed there, at a period unquestionably far remote 
from the time when it was given to the prophets of 
Israel to tell, that the house of Esau was to be cut off 
for ever, that there would be no kingdom there, and 
that wild animals would possess Edom for a heritage. 
And so despised is Edom, and the memory of its great- 
ness lost, that there is no record of antiquity that can so 
clearly show us what once it was, in the days of its 
power, as we can now read in the page of prophecy, its 
existing desolation. But in that place where kings kept 
their court, and where nobles assembled, where manifest 
proofs of ancient opulence are concentrated, where 
princely mausoleums, retaining their external grandeur, 
but bereft of all their splendour, still look as if " fresh 
from the chisel," — even there no man dwells ; it is given 
by lot to birds, and beasts, and reptiles ; it is a " court 
for owls," and scarcely are they ever frayed from their 
" lonely habitation," by the tread of a solitary traveller 
from a far distant land, among deserted dwellings and 
desolated ruins. 

Hidden as the history and state of Edom have been 
for ages, every recent disclosure, being an echo of the 
prophecies, amply corroborates the truth, that the word 
of the Lord does not return unto him void, but ever 
fulfils the purpose for which he hath sent it. But the 
whole of its work is not yet wrought in Edom, which 
has farther testimony in store ; and while the evidence 
is not yet complete, so neither is the time of the final 

IDUMEA. 219 

judgments on the land yet fully come. Judea, Ammon, 
and Moab, according to the word of prophecy, shall 
revive from their desolation, and the wild animals who 
have conjoined their depredations with those of barbarous 
men, in perpetuating the desolation of these countries, 
shall find a refuge and undisturbed possession in Edom, 
when the year of recompenses for the controversy of 
Zion being past, it shall be divided unto them by line, 
when they shall possess it for ever, and from generation 
to generation shall dwell therein. But without looking 
into futurity, a retrospect may here warrant, before 
leaving the subject, a concluding clause. 

That man is a bold believer, and must, with whatever 
reluctance, forego the name of skeptic, who possesses 
such redundant credulity as to think, that all the predic- 
tions respecting Edom, and all others recorded in Scrip- 
ture, and realized by facts, were the mere hap-hazard 
results of fortuitous conjectures. And he who thus, 
without reflecting how incongruous it is to " strain at a 
gnat and swallow a camel," can deliberately, and with 
an unruffled mind, place such an opinion among the 
articles of his faith, may indeed be pitied by those who 
know in whom they have believed, but, if he forfeit not 
thereby all right of ever appealing to reason, must at 
least renounce all title to stigmatize, in others, even the 
most preposterous belief. Or if such, after all, must 
needs be his philosophical creed, and his rational con- 
viction ! what can hinder him from believing also that 
other chance words — such as truly marked the fate of 
Edom, but more numerous and clear, and which, were 
he to " seek out and read," he would find in the self- 
same " book of the Lord,"-^may also prove equally 
true to the spirit, if not to the letter, against all the ene- 
mies of the gospel, whether hypocrites or unbelievers ? 
May not his belief in the latter instance be strengthened 
by the experience that many averments of Scripture, in 
respect to times then future, and to facts then unknown, 
have already proved true ? And may he not here find 
some analogy, at least, on which to rest his faith, whereas 

220 IDUMEA. 

the conviction which in the former case he so readily 
cherishes, is totally destitute of £my semblance whatever 
to warrant the possibility of its truth ? Or is this indeed the 
sum of his boasted wisdom, to hold to the conviction of the 
fallacy of all the coming judgments denounced in Scrip- 
ture, till "experience," personaVthough it be, should prove 
them to be as true as the past, and a compulsory and un- 
changeable but unredeeming faith be grafted on despair ? 
Or if less proof can possibly suffice, let him timely read 
and examine, and disprove also, all the credentials of 
revelation, before he account the believer credulous, or 
the unbeliever wise ; or else let him abandon the thought 
that the unrepented iniquity and wilful perversity of 
man, and an evil heart of unbelief (all proof derided, all 
offered mercy rejected, all meetness for an inheritance 
among them that are sanctified unattained, and all warn- 
ing lost) shall not finally forbid that Edom stand alone, 
the seared and blasted monument of the judgments of 

A w^ord may here be spoken even to the wise. Were 
any of the sons of men to be uninstructed in the fear of 
the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom, and in the 
knowledge of his word, which maketh wise unto salva- 
tion, and to be thus ignorant of the truths and precepts 
of the gospel, which should all tell upon every deed 
done in the body ; what, in such a case, if all their supe- 
rior knowledge were unaccompanied by religious princi- 
ples, would all mechanical and physical science eventu- 
ally prove, but the same, in kind, as the wisdom of the 
wise men of Edom ? And were they to perfect in astro- 
nomy, navigation, and mechanics, what, according to Sir 
Isaac Newton, the Edomites began, what would the 
moulding of matter to their will avail them, as moral and 
accountable beings, if their own hearts were not con- 
formed to the divine will ; and what would all their la- 
bour be at last, but strength spent for naught ? For were 
they to raise column above column, and again to hew a 
zity out of the cliffs of the rock, let but such another 
^ord of that God, whom they seek not to know, go forth 

IDUMEA. 221 

against it, and all their mechanical ingenuity and labour 
would just end in forming — that which Petra is, and 
which Rome itself is destined to be — " a cage of every 
unclean and hateful bird." The experiment has already 
been made ; it may well and wisely be trusted to as 
much as those which mortals make ; and it is set before 
us that, instead of provoking the Lord to far worse than 
its repetition in personal judgments against ourselves, 
we may be warned by the spirit of prophecy, which is 
the testimony of Jesus, to hear and obey the words of 
Him — " even of Jesus, who delivereth from the wrath 
to come." For how much greater than any degradation 
to which hewn but unfeeling rocks can be reduced, is 
that of a soul, which while in the body might have been 
formed anew after the image of an all-holy God, and 
made meet for beholding his face in glory, — passing from 
spiritual darkness into a spiritual state where all know- 
ledge of earthly things shall cease to be power ; where 
all the riches of this world shall cease to be gain ; where 
the want of religious principles and of Christian virtues 
shall leave the soul naked, as the bare and empty dwell- 
ings in the clefts of the rocks ; where the thoughts of 
worldly wisdom, to which it was inured before, shall 
haunt it still, and be more unworthy and hateful occu- 
pants of the immortal spirit, than are the owls amid the 
palaces of Edom ; and where all those sinful passions, 
which rested on the things which were seen, shall be like 
unto the scorpions which hold Edom as their heritage 
for ever, and which none can now scare away from among 
the wild vines that are there entwined around the broken 
altars, where false gods were worshipped. 




The land of the Philistines bordered on the west and 
south-west of Judea, and lies on the south-east point oi 
the Mediterranean Sea. The country to the north of 
Gaza is very fertile, and long after the Christian era it 
possessed a very numerous population, and strongly for- 
tified cities. No human probability could possibly have 
existed, in the time of the prophets, or at a much more 
recent date, of its eventual desolation. But it has belied, 
for many ages, every promise which the fertility of its 
soil, and the excellence both of its climate and situation 
gave, for many preceding centuries, of its permanency 
as a rich and well-cultivated region. And the voice of 
prophecy, which was not silent respecting it, proclaimed 
the fate that awaited it, in terms as contradictory, at the 
time, to every natural suggestion, as they are descriptive 
of what Philistia now actually is. 

" I will stretch out my hand upon the Philistines, and 
destroy the remnant of the sea-coasts."^ "Baldness is 
come upon Gaza ; Ashkelon is cut off with the remnant 
of their valley."^ "Thus saith the Lord, For three 
transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away 
the punishment thereof. I will send a fire upon the wall 
of Gaza, which shall devour the palaces thereof. And 
I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that 
holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon ; and I will turn my 
hand against Ekron ; and the remnant of the Philistines 
shall perish, saith the Lord God."^ " For Ashkelon shall 
be a desolation, and Ekron shall be rooted up. Canaan, 
the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that 
there shall be no inhabitant ; and the sea-coasts shall be 
dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for 

• Ezek. XXV. 16 2 jer. xlvii. 6. 

' Amos L fi- 7. 8. 


flocks."' " The king shall perish from Gaza, and Ash- 
kelon shall not be inhabited."^ 

The land of the Philistines was to he destroyed. It 
partakes of the general desolation common to it with 
Judea and other neighbouring states. While ruins are 
to be found in all Syria, they are particularly abundant 
along the sea-coasts, which formed, on the south, the 
realm of the Philistines. But its aspect presents some 
existing peculiarities, which travellers fail not to particu- 
larize, and which, in reference both to the state of the 
country and the fate of its different cities, the prophets 
failed not to discriminate as justly as if their description 
had been drawn both with all the accuracy which ocular 
observation, and all the certainty which authenticated 
history could give. And the authority, so often quoted, 
may here again be appealed to. Volney (though, like one 
who in ancient times was instrumental to the fulfilment 
of a special prediction, " he meant not so, neither did 
his heart think so") from the manner in which he gene- 
ralizes his observations, and marks the peculiar features 
of the different districts of Syria, with greater acuteness 
and perspicuity than any other traveller whatever, is the 
ever-ready purveyor of evidence in all the cases which 
came within the range of his topographical description 
of the wide field of prophecy ; while, at the same time, 
from his known, open, and zealous hostility to the Chris- 
tian cause, his testimony is alike decisive and unques- 
tionable ; and the vindication of the truth of the follow- 
ing predictions may safely be committed to this redoubted 
champion of infidelity. 

The sea-coast shall he dwellings and cottages for shep- 
herds and folds for flocks. The remnant of the Philis- 
tines shall perish. Baldness is come upon Gaza ; it shall 
he forsaken. The king shall perish from Gaza. I will 
cut of the inhabitants from Ashdod. Ashkelon shall he 
a desolation ; it shall he cut off" with the remnant of the 
valley ; it shall not he inhabited. " In the plain between 
Ramla and Gaza," (the very plain of the Philistines 
' Zeph. ii. 4, 5, 6. 2 Zech. ix. 5. 


along the sea-coast) " we met with a number of villages, 
badly built of dri«d mud, and which, like the inhabit- 
ants, exhibit every mark of poverty and wretchedness. 
The houses, on a nearer view, are only so many huts, 
(cottages,) sometimes detached, at others ranged in the 
forni of cells, around a courtyard, enclosed by a mud 
wall. In winter, they and their cattle may be said to 
live together, the part of the dwelling allotted to them- 
selves being only raised two feet above that in which 
they lodge their beasts — {dwellings and cottages for shep- 
herds, and folds for fiocks.) Except the environs of 
these villages, all the rest of the country is a desert, and 
abandoned to the Bedouin Arabs, who feed their flocks 
on it."* The remnant shall perish ; the land of the 
Philistines shall be destroyed that there shall be no in- 
habitant, and the sea-coast shall be dwellings and cot- 
tages for shepherds, and folds for flocks. 

"The ruins of white marble sometimes found at Gaza, 
prove that it was formerly the abode of luxury and opu- 
lence. It has vshared in the general destruction ; and, 
notwithstanding its proud title of the capital of Pales- 
tine, it is now no more than a defenceless village," 
(baldness has come upon it,) " peopled by, at most, only 
two thousand inhabitants."^ It vi forsaken and bereaved 
of its king. " The sea-coast, by which it was formerly 
washed, is every day removing farther from the deserted 
ruins of Ashkelon."-^ It shall be a desolation. Ashke- 
lon shall not be iJihabited. " Amidst the various suc- 
cessive ruins, those of Edzoud, (Ashdod,) so powerful 
under the Philistines, are now remarkable for their scor- 
pions."* The inhabitants shall be cut off" from Ashdod. 

Although the Christian traveller must yield the palm 
to Volney,* as the topographer of prophecy, and although 

1 Volney's Travels, vol. ii. pp. 335, 336. 2 ibj^. p. 340. 

3 Ibid. vol. ii. p. 338. "^ Ibid. 

* Had Volney been a believer; had he "sought out of the book 
of the Lord and read ;" and had he applied all the facts which he 
knew in illustration of the prophecies, how completely would he 
have proved their inspiration ! But it is well for the cause of 
truth, that such a witness was himself an unbeliever ; for his evi- 


supplementary evidence be not requisite, yet a place is 
here willingly given to the following just observations. 

"Ashkelon was one of the proudest satrapies of the 
lords of the Philistines ; now there is not an inhabitant 
within its walls ; and the prophecy of Zechariah is ful- 
filled. The king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon 
shall not be inhabited. When the prophecy was uttered, 
both cities were in an equally flourishing condition ; and 
nothing but the prescience of Heaven could pronounce 
on which of the two, and in what manner, the vial of 
its wrath should be poured out. Gaza is truly without 
a king. The lofty towers of Ashkelon lie scattered on 
the ground, and the ruins within its walls do not shelter 
a human being. How is the wrath of man made to 
praise his Creator! Hath he said, and shall he not 
do it ? The oracle was delivered by the mouth of the 
prophet more than five hundred years before the Chris- 
tian era, and we behold its accomplishment eighteen hun- 
dred vears after that event." 



Cogent and just as the reasoning is, the facts stated 
by Volney give wider scope for an irresistible argument. 
The fate of one city is not only distinguished from that 
of another ; but the varied aspect of the country itself, 
the dwellings and cottages for shepherds in one part, and 
that very region named ; the rest of the land destroyed 
and uninhabited, a desert, and abandoned to the flocks 
of the wandering Arabs ; Gaza, bereaved of a king, a 
defenceless village, destitute of all its fortifications ; Ash- 
kelon, a desolation, and without an inhabitant ; the in- 
habitants also cut off" from Ashdod, as reptiles tenanted 
it instead of men, — form in each instance a specific predic- 

dence, in many an instance, comes so very close to the predic- 
tions, that his testimony in the relation of positive facts would 
have been utterly discredited, and held as purposely adapted to 
the very words of prophecy, by those who otherwise lent a greed)- 
ear to his utterance of some of the wildest fancies and most gross 
untruths that ever emanated from the mind of man, or ever en- 
tered into a deceitful heart. He who so artfully could pervert the 
truth, falls the victim of facts stated by himself. 
' Richardson's Travels, vol. ii. p. 204. 


tion, and a recorded fact, and present such a view of the 
existing state of Philistia, as renders it difficult to deter- 
mine, from the strictest accordance that prevails between 
Doth, whether the inspired penman, or the defamer of 
Scripture, gives the more vivid description. Nor is 
there any obscurity whatever, in any one of the circum- 
stances, or in any part of the proof. The coincidence is 
too glaring, even for wilful blindness not to discern ; and 
to all, the least versed in general history, the priority of 
the predictions to the events is equally obvious. And 
such was the natural fertility of the country, and such 
was the strength and celebrity of the cities, that no con- 
jecture possessing the least shadow of plausibility can 
be formed in what manner any of these events could 
possibly have been thought of, even for many centuries 
after "the vision and prophecy" were sealed. After 
that period, Gaza defied the power of Alexander the 
Great, and withstood for two months a hard-pressed 
siege. The army, with which he soon afterwards over- 
threw the Persian empire, having there, as well as at 
Tyre, been checked or delayed in the first flush of con- 
quest, and he himself having, been twice wounded in 
desperate attempts to storm the city, the proud and en- 
raged king of Macedon, with all the cruelty of a brutish 
heart, and boasting of himself as a second Achilles, 
dragged at his chariot-wheels the intrepid general who 
had defended it, twice around the walls of Gaza.* Ash- 
kelon was no less celebrated for the excellence of its 
wines than for the strength of its fortifications. ^ And of 
Ashdod, it is related by an eminent ancient historian, not 
only that it was a great city, but that it withstood the long- 
est siege recorded in history, (it may almost be said, either 
of prior or of later date,) having been besieged for the 
space of twenty-nine years by Psammetichus, king of 
Egypt.^ Strabo, after the commencement of the Chris- 
tian era, classes its citizens among the chief inhabitants 

' Quintus Curtius, lib. iv. cap. xxvi. 

2 Relandi Palaest. pp. 341, 586. 

3 Herodot. Hist. lib. ii. cap. clvii. 


of Syria. Each of these cities, Gaza, Ashkelon, and 
Ashdod, was the see of a bishop, from the days of Con- 
stantine to the invasion of the Saracens. And, as a de- 
cisive proof of their existence as cities, long subsequent 
to the delivery of the predictions, it may further be re- 
marked, that different coins of each of these very cities 
are extant, and are copied and described in several ac- 
counts of ancient coins.* The once princely magnifi- 
cence of Gaza is still attested by the " ruins of white 
marble ;" and the house of the present Aga is composed 
of fragments of ancient columns, cornices, &c. ; and in 
the court-yard, and immured in the wall, are shafts and 
capitals of granite columns. '^ 

In short, cottages for shepherds^ and folds for flocks^ 
partially scattered along the sea-coasts, are now truly the 
best substitutes for populous cities, that the once power- 
ful realm of Philistia can produce : and the remTiant of 
that land, which gave titles and grandeur to the lords 
of the Philisrines, is destroyed. Gaza, the chief of its 
satrapies, " the abode of luxury and opulence," now 
bereaved of its Icing, and bald of all its fortifications, is 
the defenceless residence of a subsidiary ruler of a de- 
vastated province ; and, in kindred degradation, orna- 
ments of its once splendid edifices are now bedded in a 
wall that forms an enclosure for beasts. A handful of 
men could now take unobstructed possession of that 
place, where a strong city opposed the entrance and de- 
fied for a time the power of the conqueror of the world. 
The walls, the dwellings, and the people of Ashkelon 
have all perished ; and though its name was, in the 
time of the crusades, shouted in triumph throughout 
every land in Europe, it is now literally without an inha- 
bitant. And Ashdod, which withstood a siege treble 
the duration of that of Troy, and thus outrivalled far the 
boast of Alexander at Gaza, has, in verification of " the 
word of God, which is sharper than any two-edged 
sword," been cut off, and has fallen before it to nothing. 

' Relandi Palaest. pp. 595, 609, 797. 
2 General Straton's MS. 


There is yet another city which was noted by the pro- 
phets, the very want of any information respecting which, 
and the absence of its name from several modern mapp 
of Palestine, while the sites of other ruined cities arc 
marked, are really the best confirmation of the truth of 
the prophecy that could possibly be given. Ekron shall 
he rooted up. It is rooted up. It was one of the chief 
cities of the Philistines ; but though Gaza still subsists, 
and while Ashkelon and Ashdod retain their names in 
their ruins, the very name of Ekron is missing.* 

The wonderful contrast in each particular, whether in 
respect to the land, or to the cities of the Philistines, is 
the exact counterpart of the literal prediction ; and, 
having the testimony of Volney to all the facts, and also 
indisputable evidence of the great priority of the predic- 
tions to the events, what more complete or clearer proof 
could there be, that each and all of these predictions 
emanated from the prescience of Heaven ? And yet, 
though previously unthought of by the writer, a more 
complete proof may be given. 

Of the truth of the prophecies concerning tenantless 
Ashkelon and uprooted Ekron, there cannot be a doubt : 
but a question may arise whether baldness, in the full 
meaning of the word, has come upon Gaza, the only re- 
maining town in Philistia, or whether that city, however 
fallen from its former greatness, can strictly be said to be 
forsaken, if peopled, like the modern town, by 2000 in- 
habitants. But, as in some other instances, the author 
has been dnven from a comparatively vague or unde- 
fined to a strictly literal interpretation. 

1 In the map prefixed to Dr. Sliaw's Travels, Akron is indeed 
marked ; but it is placed close upon the sea-coast, whereas Ekron 
was situated in the interior, and was at least ten miles distant. 
Shaw did not visit the spot. Dr. Richardson passed some ruins 
near to Ashdod, and conjectures that they were probably Ekron, 
But neither does the site of them correspond with that of Ekron, 
which, according to Eusebius, lay between Ashdod and Jamnia, 
towards the east or inland. (Vide Relandi Palaest. p. 77.) Any 
diversity of opinion respecting its site is not the least conclusive 
proof that it is rooted up. 

GAZA. 229 

Baldness shall come upon Gaza. It shall be forsaken. 
The writer, after having unconsciously rested a night on 
the site of ancient Gaza, as the smoothest place that 
could be chosen whereon to pitch a tent, was for the first 
time aware of the literal interpretation of the prophecy, 
when he saw it on the spot. Detained for a day till 
camels could be procured, (the plague being then pre- 
valent at Gaza,) the author spent it in traversing the 
sand-hills on which the manifold but minute remains of 
an ancient city are yet in many places to be seen. Though 
previously holding to the interpretation given above, and 
not imagining that any clearer illustration could be given, 
and ignorant or forgetful at the time of any historical tes- 
timony that the site of modern differed from that of an- 
cient Gaza, it was impossible for him to doubt that a 
city had once stood where innumerable vestiges of it are 
to be seen. The debris of ruins recognised at first sight 
by every traveller in the east, as clearly indicating the 
site of an ancient city, are abundant, but most minute. 
Innumerable fragments of broken pottery, pieces of glass, 
(some of which were beautifully painted,) of polished 
marble, and fused stones, as if they had come forth from 
a furnace, lie thickly spread in every level and hollow 
place not buried under sand, at a considerable elevation 
and various distances, on a space more than two miles 
in length, and nearly a mile in breadth. These obvious 
indications of the site of an ancient city, recurring over 
a wide extent, are so abundant, that the number of dif- 
ferent places in which they profusely lie can scarcely be 
reckoned under fifty, yet uncovered by the sand, which 
not unfrequently surmounts them on every side. They 
generally occupy a level space, far firmer than the sur- 
rounding sand, and vary in size from small patches to 
more open spaces of twelve or twenty thousand square 
yards. The successive sand-hills, or rather the same 
oblong sand-hill, greatly varied in its elevation, and of 
an undulated surface, throughout which they recur, ex- 
tends, on the west and west-south-west, from the environs 
of the modern Gaza nearly to the sea. 

230 GAZA. 

Before approaching Gaza, unconscious where the an • 
cient city stood, it might well be asked what is meant 
by baldness coming upon it. But having traversed the 
place on which it stood, and beholding it as it rises 
naked and bare above the plain, its perfect baldness 
shows how truly that word of 'the Lord rests upon it. 
The writer looked in vain for any fragment of ruin one 
cubic foot in size, for any shrub, or plant, or blade of 
grass, to relieve or interrupt the perfect baldness that has 
come on Gaza. He saw nothing but a jackal freely 
coursing over its bare surface. The sand of the desert 
is nowhere more smooth and bare ; and the dark spots, 
where nothing but the vestiges of ruins lie, are so flat 
and level, that they form no exception to its baldness. 

Many of the ruins, it may well be imagined, lie buried 
in the sand ; those that remained above the surface have 
been carried away, and may be found in the close vici- 
nity, imbedded in the walls of houses or court-yards of 
the comparatively modern town. 

Nothing but historical testimony to the fact, that the 
site of the modern town differed from that of the ancient 
city, seems requisite to complete the proof that Gaza 
once flourished where baldness now reigns. And the 
geographer Strabo, who lived at the commencement of 
the Christian era, in describing the coast of Syria, re- ' 
cords : " Afterwards is the port of Gaza, and at the dis- 
tance of seven furlongs the city, formerly illustrious, 
which was destroyed by Alexander, and remaining 
desert. ^''^ The distance of seven stadia from the shore 
would have formed about the centre of the ancient city, 
as now seen by its rubbish. But the modern town Hes 
at the distance of about three miles. Ancient writers, 
not distinguishing between them, seem sometimes to have 
confounded the one site with the other. Jerome relates 
that, in his time, the beginning of the fifth century, 
scarcely a vestige existed of the ancient city, and that 

' EiS* Tav T^Atuy ?J(juiv 7rx»a-iov vTri^jctiTcu h kai « mKii h hrra. a-raiJioic, 
Wo^of Trent y4V0fxiv>i, KArtTTrtterjum / Cm AXt^rtv/gow, k<u fjcmwa. i^HfJi,of. 

Strabo, torn. ii. p. 1080. Ed. Fal. 

GAZA. 231 

which was then seen, was built in another place, instead 
of the city which was utterly ruined/ In the extracts 
from ancient authors whose age is uncertain, edited by 
Hudson, in the fourth volume of the lesser geographers, 
distinct mention is made of new Gaza, and of desert 
Gaza.^ Of the same place (rather than of the road) the 
apostle Paul speaks, under the same name, of Gaza 
which is desert. The very appellation it thus received, 
as recorded or described by Strabo and another Greek 
geographer, as well as in the Acts of the Apostles, and 
which most emphatically and truly describes it in one 
word,^ — for no desert can be more bare, — shows how 
baldness has come upon it. It is worthy also of remark, 
as Arrian relates, that the city besieged by Alexander 
was great, and situated on a height ; and that the access 
to it was very difficult, on account of the height of the 
sand,^ — facts precisely applicable to the site above de- 
scribed, of ancient, or desert Gaza, but not of new Gaza. 
Desert and desolate, as it has long been and still lies, 
not tenanted either by man or beast, Gaza is forsaken. 

1 will send a fire upon the wall of Gaza, which shall 
devour the palaces thereof. Among the vestiges and frag- 
ments of ruins, many pieces of scoriae, or fused lime and 
stone, reticulated, and as manifestly burnt as if they had 
passed through a furnace, are to be found (some speci- 
mens of which the writer yet retains) intermingled with 
small fragments of marble, some of which also, as seen 
by him, were evidently scathed, or bore the marks of 
fire. A fire, assuredly, has come upon Gaza, and has 
consumed the palaces thereof The local, geographical, 
and existing illustrations of the fulfilment of prophecy, 
are often as precisely literal as those which repeatedly 

' Antiqua civitatis locum vix fundamentorum prsebere vestis:ia, 
banc autem quae nunc cernitur in alio loco, pro illzi quae corruit 
aedificatam. Hieron. torn. iii. p. 218. 

2 Relandi Palaestina, torn. i. p. 509. 

3 — TTQXt; (/.ivf^va-a. "EPHMO^. Strabo- 

"H "EPHMO^ Y6^A. Rel. Pal. torn. i. p. 609. 
— I/? Ta^ur at/Tx icTTiv "EPHM02. Acts viii. 26. ' 

* Arrian, lib. ii. 26. 

232 . LEBANON. 

occur in the historical parts of Scripture, — and more 
literal than these, as patent to every reader, they cannot 
possibly be. Ancient Gaza, the once lordly city of the 
Philistines, which oppressed the people of Israel, is desert 
and forsaken. Minute fragments of broken pottery, 
brick^ glass, and marble, and undistinguishable vitrified 
matter, mingled with sand, show how utterly the pride 
of human power shall be broken ; how lowly all must lie 
who strive against the Lord , how fiercely the fire of his 
jealousy and justice burns up all on which it lights ; and 
how the ruins of once royal cities, their day of glory gone, 
show that HIS word is that of the Eternal King. 

The remaining boundary of Judea was the mountains 
of Lebanon on the north. Lebanon was celebrated for 
the extent of its forests, and particularly for the size and 
excellency of its cedars.* It abounded also with the 
pine, the cypress, and the vine, &c. But, describing 
what it now is, Volney says, " Towards Lebanon the 
mountains are lofty, but they are covered in many places 
with as much earth as fits them for cultivation by indus- 
try and labour. There, amid the crags of the rocks, 
may be seen the no very magnificent remains of the 
boasted cedars."* The words of the prophets of Israel 

1 Relandi Palaest. pp. 320, 379. Tacit. Hist. lib. v. cap. vi. 

2 Travels, vol. i. p. 292. Volney remarks, in a note, that there 
are but four or five of those trees which deserve any notice ; and 
in a note, it may be added, from the words of Isaiah, the rest of the 
trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them. (Isa. I. 
19.) Could not the infidel write a brief note, or state a minute 
fact, without giving a literal interpretation to an apparently sym- 
bolical prophecy] Maundrell, who visited Lebanon in the end of 
the seventeenth century, and to whose accuracy in other matters 
all subsequent travellers who refer to him bear witness, describes 
some of the cedars near the top of the mountain as "very old, and 
of a prodigious bulk, and others younger of a smaller size." Of 
the former he could reckon up only sixteen. He measured the 
largest, and found it about twelve yards in girth. Such trees, 
however few in number, show that the cedars of Lebanon had once 
been no vain boast. But after the lapse of niore than a century, 
not a single tree of such dimensions is now to be seen. Of those 
which now remain, us visited by Captains Irby and Mangles, there 


answer the sarcasm, and convert it into a testimony of 
the truth: " Lebanon is ashamed and hewn down. The 
high ones of stature shall be hewn down : Lebanon shall 
fall by a mighty one."* " Upon the mountains, and in 
all the valleys, his branches are fallen ; to the end that 
none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves for 
their height, neither shoot up their top among the thick 
boughs."^ " Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire 
may devour thy cedars. The cedar is fallen ; the forest 
of the vintage is come down."^ 

Such are the prophecies which explicitly and avow- 
edly refer to the land of Judea, and to the surrounding 
states. And such are the facts drawn from the narratives 
of travellers, and given, in general, in their own words, 
which substantiate their truth ; though without any allu- 
sion, but in a few solitary instances, to the predictions 
which they amply verify. The most unsuspected evi- 
dence has been selected ; and the far greater part is so 
fully corroborated, and illustrated by other testimony, as 
to bid defiance to skepticism. The prophecies and the 
proofs of their fulfilment are so numerous, that it is im- 
possible to concentrate them in a single view, without 
the exclusion of many ; and they are, upon a simple com- 
parison, so obvious and striking, that any attempt at their 
farther elucidation must hazard the obscuring of their 
clearness, and the enfeebling of their force. There is no 
ambiguity in the prophecies themselves, for they can 
bear no other interpretation but what is descriptive of 
the actual events. There can be no question of their 
genuineness or antiquity, for the countries whose future 
history they unveiled contained several millions of inha- 
bitants, and numerous flourishing cities, at a period cen- 
turies subsequent to the delivery, the translation, and 
publication of the prophecies, and when the regular and 
public perusal of their Scriptures was the law and the 

are about fifty in whole, on a single small eminence, from which 
spot the cedars are the only trees to be seen in Lebanon. CP. 209.) 
1 Isa. xxxiii. 9, x. 33, 34. 2 Ezek. xxxi. 12, 14. 3 Zech. xi. 1, 2. 


practice of the Israelites ; and they have only gradually 
been reduced to their existing state of long-prophe- 
sied desolation. There could not possibly have been 
any human means of the foresight of facts so many and 
so marvellous ; for every natural appearance contradicted 
and every historical fact condemned the supposition : 
and nothing but continued oppression and a succession 
of worse than Gothic desolaters, no government on earth 
but the Turkish, no spoliators but the Arabs, could 
have converted such natural fertility into such utter and 
permanent desolation. Could it have been foreseen, 
that after the lapse of some hundred years, no interval 
of prosperity or peaceful security would occur through- 
out many ensuing generations, to revive its deadened 
energies, or to rescue from uninterrupted desolation one 
of the richest and one of the most salubrious regions of 
the world, which the greater part of these territories na- 
turally is ? Could the present aspect of any country, with 
every alterable feature changed, and with every altered 
feature marked, have been delineated by different unin- 
spired mortals, in various ages from 2200 to 3300 years 
past ? And there could not, so far as all researches have 
hitherto reached, be a more triumphant demonstration, 
from existing facts, of the truth of manifold prophecies. 
In reference to the complete historical truth of the pre- 
dictions respecting the successive kings of Syria and 
Egypt, Bishop Newton emphatically remarks, (as Sir 
Isaac Newton's observations had previously proved,) 
that there is not so concise and comprehensive an ac- 
count of their affairs to be found in any author of these 
times ; that the prophecy is really more perfect than any 
single history, and that no one historian has related so 
many circumstances as the prophet has foretold : so that 
'* it was necessary to have recourse to several authors 
lor the better explaining and illustrating the great variety 
of particulars contained in the prophecy." The same 
remark, in the same words, may, more obviously and 
with equal truth, be now applied to the geographical^ as 
well as to the historical proof of the truth of prophecy. 


Judea, which, before the age of the prophets, had, from 
the uniformity and pecuHarity of its government and 
laws, remained unvaried in a manner and to a degree 
unusual among nations, has since undergone many con- 
vulsions, and has for many generations been unceasingly 
subjected to reiterated spoliation. And now, after the 
lapse of more than twenty centuries, travellers see what 
prophets foretold. Each prediction is fulfilled in all its 
particulars, so far as the facts have (and in almost every 
case they have) been made known. But while the re- 
cent discoveries of many travellers have disclosed the 
state of these countries, each of their accounts presents 
only an imperfect delineation ; and a variety of these 
must be combined before they bring fully into view all 
those diversified, discriminating, and characteristic fea- 
tures of the extensive scene, which were vividly depicted 
of old, in all their minute lines and varied shades, by the 
pencil of prophecy, and which set before us, as it were, 
the history, the land, and the people of Palestine. 

Judea, trodden down by successive desolaters ; re- 
maining uncultivated from generation to generation ; the 
general devastation of the country ; the mouldering ruins 
of its many cities ; the cheerless solitude of its once 
happy plains ; the wild produce of its luxuriant moun- 
tains ; the land covered with thorns ; the highways waste 
and untrodden; its ancient possessors scattered abroad; — 
the inhabitants thereof depraved in character, few in 
number, eating their bread with carefulness, or in con- 
stant dread of the spoiler or oppressor; — the insecurity of 
property ; the uselessness of labour ; the poverty of their 
revenues ; the land emptied and despoiled ; instrumental 
music ceased from among them ; the mirth of the land 
gone ; the use of wine prohibited in a land of vines, 
and the wine itself bitter unto them that drink it ; — some 
very partial exceptions from universal desolation, some 
rescued remnants, like the gleanings of a field, and em- 
blems of the departed glory of Judea : — the devastation 
of the land of Ammon ; the extinction of the Ammonites, 
the. destruction of all their cities ; their country a spoil 


to the heathen, and a perpetual desolation : — the deso- 
lation of Moab, its cities without any to dwell therein, 
and no city escaped ; the valley perished, the plain de- 
stroyed ; the wanderers that have come up against it, 
and that cause its inhabitants to wander ; the manner of 
the spoliation of the dwellers in Moab, their danger and 
insecurity in the plain country, and flying to the rocks 
for a refuge and a home, while flocks lie down among 
the ruins of the cities, none there to make them afraid ; 
and the despoiled and impoverished condition of some 
of its wretched wanderers : — Idumea the scene of an un- 
paralleled and irrecoverable desolation ; its cities utterly 
abandoned and destroyed ; of the greater part of them 
no traces left ; a desolate wilderness, over which the 
line of confusion is stretched out ; the country bare ; no 
kingdom there; its princes and nobles nothing, and 
empty sepulchres their only memorials ; thistles and 
thorns in its palaces ; a border of wickedness, and yet 
greatly despised; wisdom perished from Teman, and 
understanding out of the mount of Esau ; abandoned to 
birds, and beasts, and reptiles, specified by name ; its 
ancient possessors cut off* for ever, and no one remaining 
of the house of Esau : — the destruction of the cities of 
the Philistines; cottages for shepherds and folds for 
flocks, along the sea-coasts ; the remnant of the plain 
destroyed and unoccupied by any fixed inhabitants : — 
Lebanon ashamed ; its cedars, few and diminutive, now 
a mockery instead of a praise ; — and, finally, the differ- 
ent fate of many cities particularly defined ; the long 
subjection of Jerusalem to the gentiles ; — Samaria deso- 
late, as an heap of the field, or cast down into the val- 
ley, and its foundations discovered, all so clearly marked, 
both in the prophecy and on the spot, that they serve to 
fix its site ; — Rabbah-Ammon, the capital of the Am- 
monites, now a desolate heap, a pasture for camels, and a 
couching-place for flocks; — the chief city of Edom brought 
down, a court for owls, and no man dwelling in it; — Gaza 
forsaken, and baldness come upon it ; bearing the marks 
of the fire which has devoured its palaces ; — Ashkelon 


desolate, without an inhabitant ; and Ekron rooted up : 
these are all ancient prophecies, and these are all pre- 
sent facts, which form of themselves a phalanx of evi- 
dence which all the shafts of infidelity can never pierce. 

Though the countries included in these predictions 
comprehend a field of prophecy extending over upwards 
of one hundred and twenty thousand square miles, the 
existing state of every part of which bears witness of 
their truth ; yet the prophets, as inspired by the God of 
nations, foretold the fate of mightier monarchies, of more 
extensive regions, and of more powerful cities; and 
there is not a people, nor a country, nor a capital, which 
was then known to the Israelites, whose future history 
they did not clearly reveal. And, instead of adducing 
arguments from the preceding very abundant materials, 
or drawing those facts already adduced to their legiti- 
mate conclusion, they may be left in their native strength, 
like the unhewn adamant ; and we may pass to other 
proofs which also show that the temple of Christian faith 
rests upon a rock that cannot be shaken. 



To a brief record of the creation of the antediluvian 
world, and of the dispersion and the different settlements 
of mankind after the deluge, the Scriptures of the Old 
Testament add a full and particular history of the He- 
brews for the space of fifteen hundred years, from the 
days of Abraham to the era of the last of the prophets. 
While the historical part of Scripture thus traces, from 
its origin, the history of the world, the prophecies give 
a prospective view which reaches to its end. And it is 
remarkable that profane history, emerging from fable, 


becomes clear and authentic about the very period when 
sacred history terminates, and when the fulfilment of 
those prophecies commences which refer to otlier nations 
besides the Jews. 

^ Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, was for a long time 
an extensive and populous city. Its walls are said, by 
heathen historians, to have been a hundred feet in height, 
sixty miles in compass, and to have been defended by 
fifteen hundred towers, each two hundred feet hi^h.* 
Although it formed the subject of some of the earliest 
of the prophecies, and was the very first which met its 
predicted fate ; yet a heathen historian, in describing its 
capture and destruction, repeatedly refers to an ancient 
prediction respecting it. Diodorus Siculus relates, that 
the king of Assyria, after the complete discomfiture of 
his army, confided in an old prophecy, that Nineveh 
would not be taken unless the river should become the 
enemy of the city;* that, after an ineflfectual siege of two 
years, the river, swollen with long-continued and tem- 
pestuous torrents, inundated part of the city and threw 
down the wall for the space of twenty furlongs ; and 
that the king, deeming the prediction accomplished, 
despaired of his safety, and erected an immense funeral 
pile, on which he heaped his wealth, and with which 
himself, his household, and palace, were consumed.' 
The book of Nahum was avowedly prophetic of the de- 
struction of Nineveh : and it is there foretold that " the 
gates of the rivers shall be opened, and the palace shall 
be dissolved." " Nineveh, of old, like a pool of water — 
with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of 

• Diod. Sic. lib. ii. p. 12, 13. See Bochart. Phaleg. lib. iv. c. xx. 
c. 252; Rollin's Anc. Hist. vol. ii. p. 56, 57; Bishop Newton, 
Gibbon, &c. Strabo, whose testimony also has been often repeat- 
ed, states that it was larger than Babylon. " It must be owned," 
says Calmet, " that Nineveh was one of the most ancient, the most 
famous, the most potent, and the largest cities of the world." 

a Diod. Sic. lib. ii. pp. 82, 83, edit. Wessel. 1793. See Univ. 
Hist. vol. iv. pp. 305 — 8, v. 37, &c.; Bishop Newton, p. 134, 13th 

» Diod. Sic. lib. ii. p. 84. Poole, Univ. Hist. ibid. ; Bishop Newton 


the place thereof."* The historian describes the facts 
by which the other predictions of the prophet were as 
literally fulfilled. He relates that the king of Assyria, 
elated with his former victories, and ignorant of the 
revolt of the Bactrians, had abandoned himself to scan- 
dalous inaction ; had appointed a time of festivity, and 
supplied his soldiers with abundance of wine ; and that 
the general of the enemy, apprised by deserters of their 
negligence and drunkenness, attacked the Assyrian array 
while the whole of them were fearlessly giving way to 
indulgence, destroyed great part of them, and drove the 
rest into the city." The words of the prophet were 
hereby verified : " While they be folden together as 
thorns, and while they are drunken as drunkards, they 
shall be devoured as stubble fully dry."^ The prophet 
promised much spoil to the enemy : " Take the spoil of 
silver, take the spoil of gold ; for there is no end of the 
store and glory out of all the pleasant furniture."'' And 
the historian affirms, that many talents of gold and silver 
preserved from the fire, were carried to Ecbatana.* Ac- 
cording to Nahum, the city was not only to be destroyed 
by an overflowing flood, but the fire also was to devour 
it f and, as Diodorus relates, partly by water, partly by 
fire, it was destroyed.''^ 

> Nahum ii. 6, 8, i. 8. 

2 Diod. Sic. lib. ii. pp. 81, 84. Univ. Hist. vol. iv. pp. 305—308. 

3 Nahum i. 10. 4 Nahum ii. 9. 

* Diod. p. 87. " The two armies," says Rollin, after quoting 
this prophecy, "enriched themselves with the spoils of Nineveh." 
Vol. ii. p. 103. Bishop Newton. 

6 Nahum iii. 15. 

7 See Bishop Newton's Dissertation ix. Nmeveh, which first 
led Israel captive, was the first city of the gentiles that met its 
predicted fate. The fulfilment of the prophecies concerning it, 
which are all contained in the short book of Nahum, and in three 
verses of Zephaniah, was too remarkable to pass unnoticed in the 
earliest ages of our era. Josephus, after briefly describing the 
reign of Jotham, states, that " there was at that time a prophet, 
named Nahum, who prophesied thus of the catastrophe or over- 
throw of Nineveh, ' Nineveh shall be a pool of water agitated,' 
&c.^ahum ii. 8 — 13; and he adds, that the prophet foretold many 
other things which it was unnecessary for him to repeat, and 

240 ^ NINEVEH. 

The utter and perpetual destruction and desolation oi 
Nineveh were foretold : " The Lord will make an uttei 
end of the place thereof. Affliction shall not rise up the 
second time. She is empty, and void, and waste. The 
Lord will stretch out his hand against the north, and 
destroy Assyria, and will make Nineveh a desolation, 
and dry like a wilderness. How is she become a deso- 
lation, a place for beasts to lie down in !"* In the 
second century, Lucian, a native of a city on the banks 
of the Euphrates, testified that Nineveh was utterly 
perished ; that there was no vestige of it remaining ; 
and that none could tell where once it was situate.' 
This testimony of Lucian, and the lapse of many ages 
during which the place was not known where it stood, 
render it at least somewhat doubtful whether the remains 

which were all fulfilled after the lapse of a hundred and fifteen 
years." Ant. lib. ix. c. xi. § 3. Jerome, (a. b. 392,) in his preface 
to the book of Jonah, relates, that both Hebrew and Greek histo- 
rians recorded its overthrow. (Tom. vL c. 399, 390, ed. VeneU 
1768.) And in his commentary on Nahum, he repeatedly refers 
to its capture and spoliation by the Chaldeans, or Babylonians, 
in illustration of the prophecy. Ibid. c. 534, 555, &c. In like man- 
ner, Cyril of Alexandria, (a. d. 412,) in his commentary on the 
the same prophecy, quoted by Bochart, describes not only the de- 
struction of Nineveh, but, in terms analogous to those of Lucian, 
its entire desolation. Besides other intervening writers, who treat 
of the subject, Bochart, Marsham, and Poole, in the seventeenth 
century, adduced the testimony of Diodorus Siculus, who has long 
been the chief authority upon the subject, although his testimony 
in regard to the magnificence and subsequent destruction of Nine- 
veh is corroborated by that of Herodotus, Strabo, Tacitus, Pliny, 
&c. The fall of Nineveh is described, and the prophecies both of 
Nahum and Zephaniah, thereby illustrated, are quoted or referred 
to in such well-known works, published in the last century, as 
Prideaux's Connections, (a. d. 1715,) Rollin's Ancient History, 
(a. I). 1730,) The Universal History, (a. d. 1747,) and Bishop 
Newton's Dissertations on the Prophecies, (a. d. 1754,) the last 
of which, the latest and the best, is referred to in every edition. 
The edition of Diodorus Siculus, from which the facts were quoted 
and the references taken, was published forty years after the last 
of these works. The facts, like the prophecies, are few, and are 
all included in a few pages, to which the index readily points in 
every edition of his works. 

' Nahum i. 8, 9, ii. 10 ; Zeph. ii. 13, 14, 15. 

* Bochart, Marsham, Calmet, Bishop Newton, &c. 


of an ancient city, opposite to Mosul, which have been 
described as such by travellers, be indeed those of an- 
cient Nineveh. The name, however, was attached to 
the spot by the inhabitants of the country in the begin- 
ning of the seventh century. The battle of Nineveh 
decided the fate of Chosroes. Its locality is thus de- 
scribed by Gibbon : — " The Romans boldly advanced 
from the Araxes to the Tigris, and the timid prudence 
of Rhazates was content to follow them by forced 
marches through a desolate country, till he received a 
peremptory mandate to risk the fate of Persia in a deci- 
sive battle. Eastward of the Tigris, at the end of the 
bridge of Mosul, the great JVineveh had formerly been 
erected : the city, and even the ruins of the city had long 
since disappeared ; the vacant space [empty, void, and 
waste'] afforded a spacious field for the operation of the 
two armies,"* The great city had become "the field" 
of Nineveh. An utter ruin had been made of it at 
once ; affliction did not rise up a second time. " One 
thing is sufficiently obvious to the most careless ob- 
server," says Rich, who was himself a most careful 
observer, " which is, the equality of age of all these 
vestiges. Whether they belonged to Nineveh or some 
other city, is another question, and one not so easily de- 
termined ; but that they are all of the same age and 
character does not admit of a doubt. "^ " Pottery, and 
other Babylonian fragments" — " fragments of cuneiform 
inscriptions on stone, similar in every respect to those 
got at Babylon,"^ are found in the mounds that consti- 
tute the ruins. In contrasting the then existing great 
and increasing population, and the accumulating wealth 
of the proud inhabitants of the mighty Nineveh, with 
the utter ruin that awaited it, — the word of God (be- 
fore whom all the inhabitants of the earth are as grass- 
hoppers) by Nahum was — " Make thyself many as the 
canker-worm, make thyself many as the locusts. Thou 

1 Hist. vol. viii. pp. 250, 251, c. 46. 

* Rich's Residence in Koordistan and Nineveh, vol. ii. p. 44. 

3 Ibid, p. 38, 85. 



hast multiplied tliy merchants above the stars of heaven : 
the canker-worm spoileth and fleeth away. Thy crowned 
are as the locusts, and thy captains as the great grass- 
hoppers which camp in the hedges in the cold day ; but 
when the sun riseth, they flee away ; and their place is 
not known where they are," or were. Whether these 
words imply that even the site of Nineveh would in 
future ages be uncertain or unknown, or, as they rather 
seem to intimate, that every vestige of the palaces of its 
monarchs, of the greatness of its nobles, and of the wealth 
of its numerous merchants, would wholly disappear ; the 
truth of the prediction cannot be invalidated under either 
interpretation. The avowed ignorance respecting Nine- 
veh, and the oblivion which passed over it, for many an 
age, conjoined with the meagerness of evidence to iden- 
tify it still, prove that the place was long unknown 
where it stood, and that even now it can scarcely with 
certainty be determined. And, if the only spot that 
bears its name, or that can be said to be the place where 
it was, be indeed the site of one of the most extensive 
of cities on which the sun ever shone, and which con- 
tinued for many centuries to be the capital of Assyria, — 
the " principal mounds," few in number, in many places 
overgrown with grass, " resemble the mounds left by en- 
trenchments and fortifications of ancient Roman camps," 
and the appearances of other mounds and ruins, less marked 
than even these, extending for ten miles, and widely spread, 
and seeming to be " the wreck of former buildings,"^ 
show that Nineveh is left without one monument of roy- 
alty, without any token or memorial of its ancient splen- 
dour and magnificence ; and so entirely are the very ves- 
tiges of the city in many places swept away, that of a 
large space which the plough has passed over for ages, 
it is said, " what part was covered by ancient Nineveh 
it is nearly now impossible to ascertain."^ " The coun- 
try," *' this uneven country," are epithets descriptive of 
its supposed site. " In such a country it is not easy to 

• Buckingham's Travels in Mesopotamia, vol. ii. 49, 61, 62. 
' Rich's Residence in Koordistan, vol. ii. p. 53. 


say what are ruins and what are not ; what is art con- 
verted by the lapse of ages into a semblance of nature, 
and what is merely nature broken by the hand of time 
into ruins approaching in their appearance those of art."* 
Of the merchants, that were multiplied above the stars 
of heaven ; of the crowned and of the captains of the 
great Nineveh, it may be said, that they were as the 
great grasshoppers, which, camping in the hedges in a 
cold day, flee away on the rising of the sun, and their 
place is not known where they were. Neither from the 
low grounds, covered with bushes of tamarisk, where it 
is not cultivated,^ nor from the high country completely 
covered with pebbles,^ could it be known where the 
nobles of Nineveh were. " The name of Nineveh," 
said Volney, " seems to be threatened with the same 
oblivion which has overtaken its greatness."'' The Lord 
hath given a commandment concerning thee, that no more 
of thy name be sown. I will make thy grave, for thou 
art vile. Dar/cness shall pursue his enemies.^ The great 
Nineveh is no more. No more of its name is sown : the 
town near to its site is called by another name. But its 
name, written in the word of God, shall not pass into 
oblivion, till tongues shall cease and prophecy fail 


If ever there was a city that seemed to bid defiance 
to any predictions of its fall, that city was Babylon. It 
was for a long time the most famous city in the whole 
world. ^ Its walls, which were reckoned among the 
wonders of the world, appeared rather like the bulwarks 

' Rich's Residence in Koordistan, vol. ii. p. 57. 

2 Ibid. p. 62. 3 Ibid. p. 59. 

4 Ruins, c. 8. * Nahum i. 8, U. 

* Plinii Hist. Nat. lib. v. cap. xxvi. 

244 hkBYLOV. 

of nature than the workmanship of man.* The temple 
of Belus, half a mile in circumference and a furlong in 
height ; the hanging gardens, which, piled in successive 
terraces, towered as high as the walls; the embank- 
ments which restrained the Euphrates ; the hundred 
brazen gates ; and the adjoining artificial lake ; all dis- 
played many of the mightiest works of mortals concen- 
trated in a single point." Yet, while in the plenitude 
of its power, and, according to the most accurate chro- 
nologers, 160 years before the foot of an enemy had 
entered it, the voice of prophecy pronounced the doom 
of the mighty and unconquered Babylon. A succession 
of ages brought it gradually to the dust ; and the grada- 
tion of its fall is marked till it sunk at last into utter 
desolation. At a time when nothing but magnificence 
was around Babylon the great, fallen Babylon was deli- 
neated exactly as every traveller now describes its ruins. 
And the prophecies concerning it may be viewed con- 

' The extent of the walls of Babylon is variously stated, by 
Herodotus at 480 stadia, or furlongs, in circumference ; by Pliny 
and Solinus at sixty Roman miles, or of equal extent; by Strabo 
at 385 stadia : by Diodorus Siculus, according to the slightly dif- 
ferent testimony of Ctesias and Clitarchus, both of whom visited 
Babylon, at 360 or 365; and to the last of these statements that 
of Quintus Curtius nearly corresponds, viz. 368. The difference 
of a few stadia rather confirms than disproves the general accu- 
racy of the last three of these accounts. There may have been 
an error in the text of Herodotus of 480, instead of 380, which 
Pliny and Solinus may have copied. The variation of 20 or 25 
stadia, in excess, may have been caused by the line of measure- 
ment having been the outside of the trench, and not immediately 
of the wall. And thus the various statements may be brought 
nearly to correspond. Major Rennel, estimating the stadium at 
491 feet, computes the extent of the wall at 34 miles, or eight and 
a half on each side. The opposite and contradictory statements 
of the height and breadth of the wall may possibly be best recon- 
ciled on the supposition that they refer to different periods. He- 
rodotus states the height to have been 200 cubits, or 300 feet, and 
-he breadth 50 cubits, 75 feet. According to Curtius, the height 
was 130 feet, and the breadth 32 ; while Strabo states the height 
at 75 feet, and the breadth at 32 feet. 

2 Herod, lib. i. c. clxxviii ; Diodor. Sic. lib. ii. p. 26. (Calmet.) 
Plin. lib. V. xxvi. ; Quintus Curtius, lib. v. c. iv. See Prideaux, 
RoUin, ice. 


nectedly from the period of their earliest to that of their 
latest fulfilment. 

The immense fertility of Chaldea, which retained also 
the name of Babylonia till after the Christian era/ cor- 
responded, if that of any country could vie, with the 
greatness of Babylon. It was the most fertile region of 
the whole east.^ Babylonia was one vast plain, adorned 
and enriched by the Euphrates and the Tigris, from 
which, and from the numerous canals that intersected the 
country from the one river to the other, water was dis- 
tributed over the fields by manual labour and by hydrau- 
lic machines,^ gi^ij^g rise, in that warm climate, and rich, 
exhaustless soil, to an exuberance of produce without a 
known parallel, over so extensive a region, either in an- 
cient or modern times. Herodotus states, that he knew 
not how to speak of its wonderful fertility, which none 
but eye-witnesses would credit ; and, though writing in 
the language of Greece, itself a fertile country, he ex- 
presses his own consciousness that his description of 
what he actually saw would appear to be improbable, 
and to exceed belief. In his estimation, as well as in that 
of Strabo and of Pliny, (the three best ancient authori- 
ties that can be given,) Babylonia was of all countries 
the most fertile in corn, the soil never producing less, as 
he relates, than two hundredfold, an amount, in our 
colder regions, scarcely credible, though Strabo, the 
first of ancient geographers, agrees with the " father of 
history" in recording that it reached even to three hun- 
dred, the grain, too, being of prodigious size.* After 
being subjected to Persia, the government of Chaidea 
was accounted the noblest in the Persian empire.* Be- 
sides supplying horses for military service, it maintained 
about seventeen thousand horses for the sovereign's use. 
And, exclusive of monthly subsidies, the supply from 

1 Strabo, lib. xvi. p. 743. 

2 " Agrum totius orientis fertilissimum." (Plin. Hist. Nat. lib. 
V. c. xxvi.) 

3 Herod, lib. i. c. cxcii. 

^ Herod, lib. i. c. cxcii ; Strabo, lib. xvi. p. 742. 
* Herod, lib. i. c. cxcii. 



Chaldea (including perhaps Syria) for the subsistence of 
the king and of his army, amounted to a third part of all 
that was levied from the whole of the Persian dominions, 
which at that time extended from the Hellespont to In- 
dia.^ Herodotus incidentally mentions that there were 
four great towns in the vicinity 'of Babylon. 

Such was the " Chaldee's excellency," that it de- 
parted not on the first conquest, nor on the final extinction 
of its capital, but one metropolis of Assyria arose after 
another in the land of Chaldea, when Babylon had ceased 
to be " the glory of kingdoms." The celebrated city of 
Seleucia, whose ruins attest its former greatness, was 
founded and built by Seleucus Nicator, king of Assyria, 
one of the successors of Alexander the Great, in the year 
before Christ 293, — three centuries after Jeremiah pro- 
phesied. In the first century of the Christian era it con- 
tained six hundred thousand inhabitants.^ The Parthian 
kings transferred the seat of empire to Ctesiphon, on the 
opposite bank of the Tigris, where they resided in win- 
ter ; and that city, formerly a village, became great and 
powerful.' Six centuries after the latest of the predic- 
tions, Chaldea could also boast of other great cities,^ 
such as Artemita and Sitacene, besides many towns. 
When invaded by Julian, it was, as described by Gib- 
bon, a " fruitful and pleasant country." And, at a 
period equally distant from the time of the prophets and 
fi-om the present day, in the seventh century, Chaldea 
was the scene of vast magnificence, in the reign of 
Chosroes. "His favourite residence of Artemita or 
Destagered, was situated beyond the Tigris, about sixty 
miles to the north of the capital (Ctesiphon.) The adja- 
cent pastures," in the words of Gibbon, " were covered 
with flocks and herds ; the paradise, or park, was re- 
plenished with pheasants, peacocks, ostriches, roebucks, 
and wild boars ; and the noble game of lions and tigers 
was sometimes turned loose for the golden pleasures of 
the chase. Nine hundred and sixty elephants were 

Herod, lib. i. c. cxcii. ' Plin. lib. vi. c. xxvi. 

* Strabo, lib. xvi. p. 743. < Strabo, lib. xvi. p. 744. 


maintained for the use and splendour of the great king , 
his tents and baggage were carried into the field by 
twelve thousand great camels, and eight thousand of a 
smaller size ; and the royal stables were filled with six 
thousand mules and horses. Six thousand guards suc- 
cessively mounted before the palace gate, and the service 
of the interior apartments was performed by twelve 
thousand slaves. The various treasures of gold, silver, 
gems, silk, and aromatics, were deposited in a hundred 
subterranean vaults."* " In the eighth century the 
town of Samarah, Horounieh, and Djasserik, formed, so 
to speak, one street of twenty-eight miles. "^ Chaldea, 
with its rich soil and warm climate, and intersected by 
the Tigris and Euphrates, was one of the last countries 
m the world, of which the desolation could have been 
thought of by man. For to this day " there cannot be 
a doubt that, if proper means were taken, the country 
would with ease be brought into a high state of culti- 

Manifold are the prophecies respecting Babylon and 
the land of the Chaldeans ; and the long lapse of ages 
has served to confirai their fulfilment in every particular, 
and to render it at last complete. The judgments of 
Heaven are not casual, but sure ; they are not arbitrary, 
but righteous. And they were denounced against the 
Babylonians, and the inhabitants of Chaldea, expressly 
because of their idolatry, tyranny, oppression, pride, 
covetousness, drunkenness, falsehood, and other wick- 
edness. So debasing and iDrutifying was their idolatry, 
— or so much did they render the name of religion sub- 
servient to their passions, — that practices the most 
abominable, which were universal among them, formed 

' Gibbon's History, vol. viii. c. 46, p. 227, 228. 

2 Malte-Brun's Geography, vol. ii. p. 119. Historical documents 
are not wanting to prove that the richness of Chaldea, down to 
the time of the Arabian califs, was such as to give the charm of 
truth (which, indeed, it is generally admitted that. they possess) 
lo many of the splendid descriptions which abound in the other- 
wise fictitious narratives of the Arabian Nights' Entertainments. 

3 Bombay Philosophical Transactions, vol. i. p. 124. 


the very observance of some of their religious rites, of 
which even heathen writers could not speak but in terms 
of indignation and abhorrence. Though enriched with 
a prodigality of blessings, the glory of God was not re- 
garded by the Chaldeans; and, all the glory of man, 
with which the plain of Shinar was covered, has become, 
in consequence as well as in chastisement of prevailing 
vices and of continued though diversified crimes, the 
wreck, the ruin, and utter desolation which the word of 
God (for whose word but his ?) thus told from the begin- 
ning that the event would be. 

" The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of 
Amos did see. The noise of a multitude in the moun- 
tains, like as of a great people ; a tumultuous noise of 
the kingdoms of nations gathered together ; the Lord of 
hosts mustereth the host of the battle. They come from 
a far country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord, 
and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole 
land. Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both 
with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate ; 
and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. It 
shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man 
taketh up : they shall every man turn to his own people, 
and flee every one into his own land. Every one that 
is found shall be thrust through ; and every one that is 
joined unto them shall fall by the sword. Behold I 
will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not 
regard silver ; and as for gold, they shall not delight in 
it. Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces ; 
and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb ; 
their eye shall not spare children. And Babylon, the 
glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excel- 
lency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Go- 
morrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be 
dwelt in from generation to generation ; neither shall the 
Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds 
make their fold there ; but wild beasts of the desert shall 
lie there ; and their houses shall be full of doleful crea- 
tures ; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance 


there. And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in 
their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant pa- 
laces."^ " Thou shalt take up this proverb against the 
king of Babylon, and say. How hath the oppressor 
ceased ! the golden city ceased ! Thy pomp is brought 
down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols : the worm 
is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. Thou 
shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. 
Thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch. 
I will cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and 
son, and nephew, saith the Lord. I will also make it a 
possession for the bittern and pools of water ; and I will 
sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the Lord 
of hosts. "2 " Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the 
graven images of her gods, he hath broken unto the 
ground."^ " Thus saith the Lord that saith unto the 
deep, be dry ; and I will dry up thy rivers ; that saith 
of Cyrus, he is my shepherd, and shall perform all my 
pleasure, — and I will loose the loins of kings, to open 
before him the two-leaved gates ; and the gates shall not 
be shut."* " Bel boweth down,"^ &c. "- Come down 
and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon ; sit 
on the ground : there is no throne, O daughter of the 
Chaldeans. Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, 
O daughter of the Chaldeans ; for thou shalt no more be 
called The lady of kingdoms. Thou hast said, I shall 
be a lady for ever. Hear now this, thou that art given 
to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly ; that sayest in thine 
heart, I am, and none else besides me ; I shall not sit as 
a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children. But 
these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one 
day, the loss of children, and widowhood : they shall 
come upon thee in their perfection, for the multitude of 
thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine en- 
chantments. For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness," 
&c. " Therefore shall evil come upon thee ; thou shalt 
not know from whence it riseth : and mischief shall fall 

1 Isa. xiii. 1,4, 5, 9, 14—22. 2 isa. xiv. 4, 11, 15, 19, 22, 23. 

^ Isa. xxi. 9. * Isa. xhv. 27, 28, xlv. 1. « Isa. xlvi. 1. 


upon thee ; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and 
desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou 
shalt not know."* 

" I will punish the land of the Chaldeans, and will 
make it perpetual desolations. And I will bring upon 
that land all my words which I have pronounced against 
it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah 
hath prophesied against all the nations. For many na- 
tions and great kings shall serve themselves of them 
also : and I will recompense them according to their 
deeds, and according to the works of their own hands."^ 
" The word that the Lord spake against Babylon, and 
against the land of the Chaldeans, by Jeremiah the pro- 
phet. Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and 
set up a standard ; publish, and conceal not ; say, Baby- 
lon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in 
pieces ; her idols are confounded, her images are broken 
in pieces. For out of the north there cometh up a nation 
against her, which shall make her land desolate, and 
none shall dwell therein ; they shall remove, they shall 
depart, both man and beast."^ " For, lo, I will raise 
and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of 
great nations from the north country : and they shall set 
themselves in array against her ; from thence she shall 
be taken ; their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert 
man ; none shall return in vain. And Chaldea shall be 
a spoil; all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the 
Lord. Behold, the hindermost of the nations shall be a 
wilderness, a dry land, and a desert. Because of the 
wrath of the Lord it shall not be inhabited, but it shall 
be wholly desolate : every one that goeth by Babylon 
shall be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues."'* " Her 
foundations are fallen, her walls are thrown down ; for 
it is the vengeance of the Lord ; take vengeance upon 
'ler ; as she hath done, do unto her. Cut off the sower 
Tom Babylon, and him that handleth the sickle in the 
dme of harvest : for fear of the oppressing sword they 

' Isa. xlvii. 1, 5, 7—11. ? Jer. xxv. 12—14. 

» Jei. 1. 1 2, 3. < Jer. 1. 9, 10, 12, 18. 


shall turn every one to his people, and they shall flee 
every one to his own land."' " Go up against the land 
of JVIerathaim, even against it, and against the inhabitants 
of Pekod ; waste and utterly destroy after them. A 
sound of battle is in the land, and of great destruction. 
How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and 
broken ! how is Babylon become a desolation among the 
nations ! I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also 
taken, Babylon, and thou wast not aware ; thou art 
found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against 
the Lord. The Lord hath opened his armoury, and 
hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation : for 
this is the work of the Lord God of hosts in the land 
of the Chaldeans. Come against her from the utmost 
border, open her store-houses ; cast her up as heaps, and 
destroy her utterly ; let nothing of her be left."^ " The 
voice of them that flee and escape out of the land of 
Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the Lord 
our God, the vengeance of his temple. Call together 
the archers against Babylon : all ye that bend the bow, 
camp against her round about : let none thereof escape : 
recompense her according to her work ; according to all 
that she hath done, do unto her : for she hath been proud 
against the Lord, against the Holy One of Israel. There- 
fore shall her young men fall in the streets, and all her 
men of war shall be cut off' in that day, saith the Lord. 
Behold, I am against thee, thou most proud, saith the 
Lord God of hosts : for thy day is come, the time that I 
will visit thee. And the most proud shall stumble and 
fall, and none shall raise him up : and I will kindle a 
fire in his cities, and it shall devour all round about 
jjjjjj j>3 ic^ sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith the Lord, 
and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, 
and upon her wise men. A sword is upon the liars ; a 
sword is upon her mighty men ; a sword is upon their 
horses, and upon their chariots, and upon all the mingled 
people that are in the midst of her, and they shall become 
as women; a sword is upon her treasures, and they shall be 
« Jer. 1. 15, 16. -' Jer. 1. 21—26. 3^Jer. 1. 28—32. 


robbed. A drought is upon her waters ; and they shall 
be dried up ; for it is the land of graven images, and 
they are mad upon their idols. Therefore the wild 
beasts of the desert, with the wild beasts of the islands, 
shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein ; and 
it shall be no more inhabited fo'r ever ; neither shall it 
be dwelt in from generation to generation. As God 
overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and the neighboui 
cities thereof, saith the Lord ; so shall no man abide 
there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein. Be- 
hold, a people shall come from the north, and a great 
nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the 
coasts of the earth. They shall hold the bow and the 
lance ; they are cruel and will not show mercy ; their 
voice shall roar like the sea, and they shall ride on 
horses, every one put in array, like a man to the battle, 
against thee, daughter of Babylon. The king of 
Babylon hath heard the report of them, and his hands 
waxed feeble : anguish took hold of him, and pangs as 
of a woman in travail. Behold, he shall come up like 
a lion from the swelling of Jordan unto the habitation 
of the strong ; but I will make them suddenly run away 
from her ; and who is a chosen man, that I may appoint 
over her ? For who is like me ? and who will appoint 
me the time ? and who is that shepherd that will stand 
before me ? Therefore hear ye the counsel of the Lord, 
that he hath taken against Babylon, and his purposes 
that he hath purposed against the land of the Chaldeans ; 
surely the least of the flock shall draw them out ; surely 
he shall make their habitation desolate with them.* I 
will send unto Babylon fanners, that shall fan her, and 
shall empty her land, for in the day of trouble they shall 
be against her round about. Against him that bendeth 
let the archer bend his bow, and against him that lifteth 
himself up in his brigantine : and spare ye not her young 
men ; destroy ye utterly all her host. Thus the slain 
shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans, and they that are 
thrust through in her streets, &c. Babylon is suddenly 
1 Jer. 1. 35—46. 


fallen and destroyed : howl for her ; take balm for her 
pain, if so she may be healed. We would have healed 
Babylon, but she is not healed : forsake her, and let us 
go every one unto his own country ; for her judgment 
reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies.* 
The Lord hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the 
Medes; for his device is against Babylon to destroy 
it, &c. thou that dwellest upon many waters, abun- 
dant in treasures, thine end is come, and the measure of 
thy covetousness. The Lord of hosts hath sworn by 
himself, saying. Surely I will fill thee with men, as with 
caterpillars ; and they shall lift up a shout against thee.^ 
Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith 
the Lord, which destroyest all the earth ; and I will stretch 
out my hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the 
rocks, and I will make thee a burnt mountain. Set up a 
standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations, 
prepare the nations against her ; call together against her 
the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Aschenaz ; prepare 
against her the nations, with the kings of the Medes, the 
captains thereof, and all the rulers thereof, and all the land 
of his dominion. And the land shall tremble and sor- 
row ; for every purpose of the Lord shall be performed 
against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desola- 
tion without an inhabitant. The mighty men of Baby- 
lon have forborne to fight, they have remained in their 
holds ; their might hath failed ; they became as women ; 
they have burnt her dwelling-places ; her bars are 
broken. One post shall run to meet another, and one 
messenger to meet another, to show the king of Babylon 
that his city is taken at one end, and that the passages 
are stopped. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of 
Israel, The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing-floor : 
it is time to thresh her ; yet a little while, and the time 
of her harvest shall come.^ I will dry up her sea, and 
make her springs dry. And Babylon shall become 
heaps, a dweUing-place for dragons, an astonishment, 

» Jer. li. 2, 4, 8, 9. 2 jgr. li. H, 13, 14. 

3 Jer. li. 25, 27—33. 



and an hissing, without an inhabitant. In their heat I 
will make their feasts, that they may sleep a perpetual 
sleep, and not wake. How is the praise of the whole 
earth surprised ! How is Babylon become an astonish- 
ment among the nations! The sea is come up upon 
Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the 
waves thereof. Her cities are a desolation, a dry land 
and a wilderness, a land wherein no man dwelleth, nei- 
ther doth any son of man pass thereby. And I will 
punish Bel in Babylon ; and I will bring forth out of his 
mouth that which he hath swallowed up : and the na- 
tions shall not flow together any more unto him ; yea the 
wall of Babylon shall fall. A rumour shall come one 
year, and after that in another year shall come a rumour, 
and violence in the land, ruler against ruler. Therefore, 
behold, the days come that I will do judgment upon the 
graven images of Babylon ; and her whole land shall be 
confounded, and all her slain shall fall in the midst of 
her, &c.* And I will make drunk her princes, and her wise 
men, her captains, and her rulers, and her mighty men ; 
and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, 
saith the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts. Thus 
saith the Lord of hosts. The broad walls of Babylon 
shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burnt 
with fire ; and the people shall labour in vain, and the 
folk in the fire, and they shall be weary. And it shall 
be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, 
that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the 
midst of Euphrates : and thou shalt say. Thus shall 
Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will 
bring upon her."* 

The enemies who were to besiege Babylon — the cow- 
ardice of the Babylonians — the manner in which the city 
was taken, and all the remarkable circumstances of the 
siege, were foretold and described by the prophets as the 
facts are related by ancient historians. 

Go up, Elam (or Persia) besiege, Media ! The 

' Jer. li. 36, 37, 39, 41—44, 46, 47. 67, 58,63,64. 


Lord hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes, 
for his device is against Babylon to destroy it.^ The 
kings of Persia and Media, prompted by a common 
interest, freely entered into a league against Babylon, 
and with one accord intrusted the command of their 
united armies to Cyrus,^ the relative and eventually the 
successor of them both. But the taking of Babylon was 
not reserved for these kingdoms alone : other nations had 
to be prepared against her. 

Set up a standard in the land ; blow the trumpet among 
the nations^ prepare the nations against her, call together 
against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Mimii, and Asche- 
naz. Lo, I will raise, and cause to come up against 
Babylon, an assembly of great notions from the north 
country, &c.^ Cyrus subdued the Armenians, who had 
revolted against Media, spared their king, bound them 
over anew to their allegiance, by kindness rather than 
by force, and incorporated their army with his own.* He 
adopted the Hyrcanians, who had rebelled against Baby- 
lon, as allies and confederates with the Medes and Per- 
sians.* He conquered the united forces of the Babylo- 
nians and Lydians, took Sardis, with Croesus and all his 
wealth, spared his life, after he was at the stake, restored 
to him his family and his household, received him into 
the number of his counsellors and friends, and thus pre- 
pared the Lydians, over whom he reigned, and who were 
formerly combined with Babylon, for coming up against 
it.^ He overthrew also the Phrygians and Cappadocians, 
and added their armies in like manner to his accumu- 
lating forces.'' And by successive alHances and con- 
quests, by proclaiming liberty to the slaves, by a humane 
policy, consummate skill, a pure and noble disinterested- 

1 Jackson (Dr. Thos.), Grotius, Poole, Prideaux, Lowth, Rollin, 
Bishop Newton, &c. &c. 

2 Xenoph. Cyrop. lib. i. c. v. p. 53, ed. Hutch. Glasg. 1821. 
^ Jackson, Grotius, Poole, &c. «&c. 

'' Xenoph. Cyrop. lib. iii. c. i. p. 156. 
« Ibid. lib. iv. c. ii. pp. 215, 217. 
s Ibid lib. V. c. ii. pp. 408 — 416. 
^ Ibid. lib. vii. c. iv. pp. 427, 428. 


ness, and a boundless generosity, he changed, within the 
space of twenty years, a confederacy which the king of 
Babylon had raised up against the Medes and Persians, 
whose junction he feared, into a confederacy even of 
the same nations, against Babylon itself; — and thus 
a standard was set up against' Babylon in many a land, 
kingdo-ms were summoned, prepared, and gathered toge- 
ther against her ; and an assernhly of great nations from 
the north, — including Ararat and Minni, or the greater 
and lesser Armenia, and Aschenaz, or according to Bochart, 
Phrygia, — loere raised up and caused to come against 
Babylon. Without their aid, and before they were sub- 
jected to his authority, he had attempted in vain to con- 
quer Babylon ; but when he had prepared and gathered 
them together, it was taken, though by artifice more than 
by power. 

They shall hold the. bow and the lance — they shall ride 
upon horses — let the archer bend his bow — all ye that bend 
the bow shoot at her. They rode upon horses. Forty 
thousand Persian horsemen were armed from among the 
nations which Cyrus subdued ; many horses of the 
captives were besides distributed among all the allies. 
And Cyrus came up against Babylon with a great 
multitude of horses •/ and also with a great multitude 
of archers and javelin-men,^ that held the bow and the 

No sooner had Cyrus reached Babylon, with the na- 
tions which he had prepared, and gathered against her, 
than in the hope of discovering some point not utterly 
impregnable, accompanied by his chief officers and 
friends he rode around the walls, and examined them on 
every side, after having for that purpose stationed his 
whole army round the city.^ They camped against it 
round about. They put themselves in array against Baby- 
Ion round about. 

Fnistrated in the attempt to discover, throughout the 
whole <ircvmference, a single assailable point, and find- 

' Xenoph. Cyrop. lib. vii. c. iv. p. 428. 
' Ibid. p. 429. » Ibid. c. v. 


ing that it was not possible, by any attack, to make him- 
self master of walls so strong and so high, and fearing 
that his army would be exposed to the assault of the 
Babylonians by a too extended and consequently weak- 
ened line ; Cyrus, standing in the middle of his army, 
gave orders that the heavy armed men should move, in 
opposite directions, from each extremity towards the cen- 
tre ; and the horse and light armed men being nearer 
and advancing first, and the phalanx being doubled and 
closed up, the bravest troops thus occupied alike the front 
and the rear, and the less effective were stationed in the 
middle.^ Such a disposition of the army, in the estima- 
tion of Xenophon, himself a most skilful general, was 
well adapted both for fighting and preventing flight; 
while the Christian, judging differently of their succes- 
sive movements, may here see the fulfilment of one pre- 
diction after another. For, as in this manner " they stood 
facing the walls," in regular order, and not as a disor- 
derly and undisciphned host, though composed of various 
nations, they set the^nselves in array against Babylon, every 
man put in array. 

A trench was dug round the city ; towers were erected , 
Babylon was besieged ; the army was divided into 
twelve parts, that each, monthly by turn, might keep 
watch throughout the year f and though the orders were 
given by Cyrus, the command of the Lord of hosts was 
unconsciously obeyed — let none thereof escape. 

The mighty men of Babylon have forborne to fight. 
They have remained in their holds ; their might hath 
failed, they became as women.^ Babylon had been the 
hammer of the whole earth, by which nations were bro- 
ken in pieces, and kingdoms destroyed. Its mighty men 
carried the terror of their arms to distant regions, and led 
nations captive. But they were dismayed according to 
the word of the God of Israel, whenever the nations 
which he had stirred up against them stood in array be« 
fore their walls. Their timidity, so clearly predicted, 

' Xenoph. Cyrop. lib. vii. c. iv. 430. 2 ibid. pp. 430—434. 

3 See Prideaux, Lowth, Bishop Newton, «&c. 



was the express complaint and accusation of their ene- 
mies, who in vain attempted to provoke them to the con- 
test. Cyrus challenged their monarch to single combat, 
but also in vain ;' for the hands of the king of Babylon 
tpaxed feeble. Courage had departed from both prince 
and people ; and none attemjfted to save their country 
from spoliation, or to chase the assailants from their 
gates. They sallied not forth against the invaders and 
besiegers, nor did they attempt to disjoin and disperse 
them, even when drawn all around their walls, and com- 
paratively weak along the extended line. Every gate 
was still shut ; and they remained in their holds. Being 
as unable to rouse their courage, even by a close 
blockade, and to bring them to the field, as to scale or 
break down any portion of their stupendous walls, or to 
force their gates of solid brass, Cyrus reasoned that the 
greater their number, the more easily would they be 
starved into surrender, and yield to famine, since they 
would not contend with arms nor come forth to fight. 
And hence arose for the space of two years his only hope 
of eventual success. So dispirited became its people, 
that Babylon, which had made the world as a wilderness, 
was long unresistingly a beleaguered town. But, pos- 
sessed of many fertile fields, and of provisions for twenty 
years, which in their timid caution they had plentifully 
stored, they derided Cyrus from their impregnable walls 
within which they remained.^ Their profligacy, their 
wickedness and false confidence were unabated ; they 
continued to live carelessly in pleasures, but their might 
did not return ; and Babylon the great, unlike to many a 
small fortress and un walled town, made not one effort to 
regain its freedom or to be rid of the foe. 

Much time having been lost, and no progress having 
been made in the siege, the anxiety of Cyrus was strongly 
excited, and he was reduced to great perplexity, when 
at last it was suggested and immediately determined on, 
to turn the course of the Euphrates. But the task was 

' Xen. Cyrop. lib. v. c. iii. p. 290. 

2 Xenoph. Cyrop. 1. vii. c. v. p. 434 ; Herod. 1. i. c. cxc. 


not an easy one. The river was a quarter of a mile 
oroad, and twelve feet deep, and, in the opinion of one 
of the counsellors of Cyrus, the city was stronger by the 
river than by its walls. Diligent and laborious prepara- 
tion was made for the execution of the scheme, yet so as 
to deceive the Babylonians. And the great trench, 
ostensibly formed for the purpose of blockade, which 
for the time it effectually secured, was dug around the 
walls on every side, in order to drain the Euphrates, and 
to leave its channel a straight passage into the city, 
through the midst of which it flowed. When all things 
were in readiness for the execution of his design, Cyrus, 
having formed his army into two great divisions, sta- 
tioned them respectively where the river entered, and 
where it emerged from the city, and hasted with the in- 
effective part of his troops to the lake which the queen 
of Babylon had made, and suddenly diverted the course 
of the Euphrates. So soon as the water ceased to flow 
into its wonted channel, Cyrus having returned to his 
army, commanded those about him to descend into the 
dry part of the river,* to ascertain if a passage could be 
effected; and on their reporting its practicability, the 
order was given to the vast besieging army to pass by 
the bed of the river as a road into the city. " / will dry 
up thy sea, and make the springs dry. Thus saith the 
Lord, — that saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up 
ihy rivers. A drought is upon her waters, and they shall 
he dried up. '^'''^ 

Each command of Cyrus, and each act of his army, 
as related by Herodotus and Xenophon, show how the 
pleasure of the Lord and his purpose against Babylon 
were performed. 

The father of history expresses a doubt whether the 
device, by which a way, unimpeded by the impregnable 
walls, was opened into Babylon, was the invention of 

' E<f TO ^itgov Tou iTsmnfA-ou, Xen. vii. 5, p. 435. lovt taroicty.wiz <rw 
^ii^itm. Septuagint translation. 

2 See Grolius, Jackson, Prideaux, Lowth, Rollin, Bishop New 
ton, &c. 


Cyrus, or the suggestion of another. But there is not a 
doubt in history that then, as at a future period, a snare 
was laid for Babylon.^ 

The execution of an enterprise so hazardous, demanded 
the greatest circumspection and regularity of movement. 
And -Cyrus gave orders to each Persian captain of a 
thousand men, cavalry as well as infantry, to be at his 
post and in his own presence, at the head of his soldiers, 
ranged two and two, to be followed by the allies in their 
wonted order.** And thus watching their time and pre- 
serving their ranks, they marched into the city, every 
man in the order previously prescribed. That men should 
have rode in hostile array against such a city as Baby- 
lon, begirt with stupendous walls, except where a deep 
river passed between them, is not the least wonder of 
the siege. But Cyrus, with his many thousands of horse- 
men, and Alexander afterwards with his band of Greeks, 
were both the servants of the Lord in accomplishing the 
prediction. They shall ride upon horses^ every man put 
in array ^ like a man to the battle against tliee, daughter 
of Babylon. 

While hosts of enemies thus stole into Babylon, like 
a thief into a house by stratagem and at night, no situa- 
tion, for the moment, could have been more critical and 
dangerous than theirs : for if the design had been dis- 
covered, and if the gates leading from the river to the 
city had been shut, they would have been shut up as in 
a net, as Herodotus relates,' and their destruction would 
have been seemingly inevitable ; and, but for the word 
that never errs, and the eye that watches over all, the 
assailants would have been the victims. But the Baby- 
lonians, given up on that night to intemperance in honour 
of their god, exercised no caution as they felt no fear, 
and the enemy passed into the city without obstruction 
or opposition ; for, though they knew it not, the pro- 
phecy was true, the gates shall not be shut. 

' See Grotius, Jackson, Prideaux, Lowth, Rollin, Bishop New- 
lon, &c. 
2 Xen. vii. 5, p. 435. ^ Herod, lib. i. c. cxci. Jackson, &c 


To encourage his troops to pass fearlessly through the 
streets, and to cast off the dread of being assailed with 
darts from the ipofs of the houses, Cyrus previously an- 
nounced that the doors were of palm- wood, covered 
with bitumen, and would easily be set on fire by the 
torches and inflammable matter with which, for that in- 
tent, they were plentifully supplied.* TJmy have burnt 
her dwelling-places ; her bars are broken. To which it 
is added, 

One post shall run to meet another^ and one messenger 
to meet another ^ to show the king of JBabylon that his city 
is taken at one end ; and that the passages are stopped, 
and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of 
war are affrighted. The king was in the city, and yet 
had to be told that it was taken. The seeming enigma, 
that messengers should run in different and opposite 
directions, to convey to the same place tidings of the 
same event, is expounded by the fact of the nearly simul- 
taneous entrance of the enemy at both ends of Babylon, 
between which the space of at least eight miles inter- 
vened. In attempting to bear with all expedition the 
disastrous tidings to the king in his palace, situated near 
the centre of the city, messengers from each end would 
thus necessarily so run as to meet each oth^r, unconscious 
that the same message was alike borne by both, and 
that their speed would be in vain. The proof is not 
here the less striking because it is inferential ; for it may 
well be presumed that such messengers did run, and that 
the numerous torches of the invading host were not 
borne in vain. 

The river, from its great breadth and depth, and its 
sides being walled and strongly fortified, was held to be 
a defence of the city, rivalling, if not surpassing, that of 
the walls. And the city was taken, not only in a man- 
ner most unexpected, but at a time when the Babylo- 
nians were the most unprepared, and all sobriety and 
vigilance set aside. Herodotus relates, on the testimony 
of the inhabitants, that from the great extent of the city, 
' Xen. vii. 5, p. 436. 


and its being taken at the time of a feast, while the peo- 
ple were given up to dancing and indulgence, those who 
lived in the utmost parts of the city we^e in the hands 
of their enemies before those who dwelt in the centre 
were aware of the fact.* Aijd though it may seem 
incredible that, as Aristotle relates, the tidings were un- 
known in some places within the walls on the third day ; 
yet such a statement from such a pen adds to the proof 
of the predicted fact. There was no alarm from with- 
out ; nor even the appearance of a foe. Not a gate of 
the city wall was opened ; not a brick of it had fallen. 
But, as a snare had been laid for Babylon, so also it was 
talcen, and it was not aware f it was found and also 
caught, for it had sinned against the Lord. How is the 
praise of the whole earth surprised ! For thou hast trust- 
ed in thy wickedness ; and thy wisdom, and thy know- 
ledge, it hath perverted thee; tlierefore shall evil come 
upon thee, and thou shalt not know from wlience it ariseth; 
and mischief shall fall upon thee, and thou shalt not be 
able to put it off', &c. — JVbne shall save thee. 

In their lieat I will make their feasts, and I will make 
them drunken, that tJiey may rejoice and sleep a perpetual 
sleep, and not wake, saith the Lord. I will bring them 
down like lambs to the slaughter, &c. / will make 
drunken her princes and her wise men ; her captains and 
her rulers, and lier mighty men, and they shall sleep a 
perpetual sleep, &c. Cyrus, having purposely chosen, 
for the execution of his plan, the time of a great annual 
Babylonish festival, stimulated his assembled troops to 
enter the city, because, in that night of general revel 
within the walls, many of them were asleep, many drunk, 
and confusion universally prevailed. On passing, with- 
out obstruction or hinderance, into the city, the Persians 
slaying some, putting others to flight, and joining with 
the revellers as if slaughter had been merriment, hastened 
Dy the shortest way to the palace, and reached it ere yet 
a messenger had told the king that the city was taken. 

^ Herod, lib. i. c. cxci. 2 Grotius, Jackson, Poole, &c. 


The gates of the palace, which were strongly fortified, 
were shut. The guards stationed before them were 
drinldng beside a blazing light, when the Persians rushed 
impetuously upon them. The louder and altered cla- 
mour, no longer joyous, caught the ear of the inmates 
of the palace, and the bright light showed them the work 
of destruction, without revealing its cause. And, 7U)t 
aware of the presence of an enemy in the midst of Baby- 
lon, the king himself, excited by the warlike tumults at 
the gates, commanded those within to examine from 
whence it arose ; and according to the same word, by 
which the gates (leading from the river to the city) were 
not shut, the loins of kings were loosed to open before 
Cyrus the two-leaved gates. At the first sight of the 
opened gates of the palace of Babylon, the eager Per- 
sians sprang in. The Icing of Babylon heard the report 
of them — anguish took hold of him; he and all who were 
about him perished : God had numbered his kingdom 
and finished it : it was divided and given to the Medes 
and Persians ; the lives of the Babylonian princes, and 
lords, and rulers, and captains, closed with that night's 
festival : the drunken slept a perpetual sleep^ and did not 

Cyrus' brief address to his generals before marching 
into Babylon concluded, as recorded by Xenophon, in 
these remarkable words : " Go, seize your arms, and, 
together with the gods, I will lead you on {viyriGo^ai). 
Do ye, said he, Gadatas and Gobryas, show us the 
ways, for ye know them ; and, once entered, advance 
with the utmost expedition to the palace." The speed 
of the conqueror and of the avenger of blood outstripped 
that of the winged messenger of misfortune. Gobryas, 
formerly an injured vassal of the king of Babylon, pressed 
on with those about him, not without the hope that on such 
a night, while unguarded revelry reigned universally in 
the city, the gates of the palace, like those of the river, 
might be open. But though their hopes were vain, and 
the palace gates were shut, and a double wall surround- 

' Herod, lib. i. c. cxci. ; Xen. Cyr. lib. vii. c. v. pp. 434, 439. 


ed it, yet the gates were opened, and when the palacfi 
was taken, and the king and his nobles slain, the castles 
were delivered up,* and Cyrus, in a single night, was 
master of Babylon. / will go before them, and make the 
crooked places straight. 

To mask their purpose, the invading host mimicked 
the shouting as their leaders knew the customs of the 
intemperate and frantic crowd through whom they passed, 
or whom they slew. And it was from the warlike and 
tumultuous noise,^ exceeding the obstreperous mirth of 
drunken soldiery, around the palace and at the very 
gates, that the two-leaved gates were opened. Shout 
against her round about. Tlieir voice shall roar (literally 
sound, or make a tumultuous noise) like the sea. The 
king of Babylon heard the report of them, &c. 

All her slain shall fall in the midst of her. The Ba- 
bylonians would not go forth to fight. They mocked 
the enemy from their lofty walls, and defied danger from 
without, and dreaded it not within. In the siege, none 
of the Babylonians fell ; but in the city, even in the 
midst of it, they were slain. There die palace was 
situated, and the guards were stationed, and in the very 
midst of it the soldiery of Babylon were massacred; the 
men of war were affrighted, and then, together with the 
king, his princes and lords were there slain. 

She Jiath been proud against the Lord; against the 
Holy One of Israel ; therefore Iver young men shall fall 
in THE STREETS, and all her men of war shall be cut off 
in that day. Cyrus sent troops of horse throughout th£ 
streets, with orders to slay all who were found there. 
And he commanded proclamation to be made, in the 
Syrian language, that all who were in the houses should 
remain within : and that, if any one were found abroad, 
he should be killed. These orders were obeyed.^ Every 
one that is found shall be thrust through, &c. They shall 
wander every man to his quarter. 

I will Jill thee with men as with caterpillars. Not only 
did the Persian army enter with ease as caterpillars, to- 

' Xen. Cyr. lib. vii. c. v. p. 440. 2 ibi^. p. 438. 3 Ibid. p. 439. 


gether with all the nations that had come up against 
Babylon, but they seemed also as numerous. Cyrus, 
after the capture of the city, made a great display of his 
cavalry in the presence of the Babylonians, and in the 
midst of Babylon. Four thousand guards stood before 
the palace gates, and two thousand on each side. These 
advanced as Cyrus approached ; two thousand spearmen 
followed them. These were succeeded by four square 
masses of Persian cavalry, each consisting of ten thou 
sand men; and to these again were added, in their order 
the Median, Armenian, Hyrcanian, Caducian, and Sacian 
horsemen, — all as before riding upon horses^ every man 
in array ^ — with lines of chariots four abreast, concluding 
the train of the numerous hosts.* Cyrus afterwards re- 
viewed, at Babylon, the whole of his army, consisting 
of one hundred and twenty thousand horse, two thousand 
chariots, and six hundred thousand foot.^ Babylon, 
which was taken when not aware, and within whose 
walls no enemy, except a captive, had been ever seen, 
was also filled with men as with caterpillars^ as if there 
had not been a wall around it. The Scriptures do not 
relate the manner in which Babylon was taken, nor do 
they ever allude to the exact fulfilment of the prophecies. 
But there is, in every particular, a strict coincidence be- 
tween the predictions of the prophets and the historical 
narratives, both of Herodotus and Xenophon. 

On taking Babylon suddenly and by surprise, Cyrus, 
as had been literally prophesied concerning him, and as 
the sign by which it was to be known that the Lord hath 
called him by his name, (Isa. xlv. 1 — 4^) became imme- 
diately possessed of the most secret treasures of Babylon. 

' Xen. Cyr. lib. viii. c. iii. pp. 494, 495. 2 Jbjtj, c. vi. p. 532. 

3 Isaiah prophesied above one hundred and sixty years before 
the taking of Babylon, two hundred and fifty years before Herodo- 
tus, and nearly three hundred and fifty before Xenophon. See 
Bishop Newton. — Josephus states that this prophecy was deli- 
vered by Isaiah two hundred and ten years before the taking of 
Babylon — Isaiah prophesied, b. c. 760 — 798. Babylon was taken 
by Cyrus, b. c. 538. Herodotus was born about 484 b. c. — and 
Xenophon 349. 



No enemy had ever dared to rise up against that greai 
city. To take it seemed not a work for man to attempt ; 
but it became the easy prey of him who was called the 
servant of the Lord. And as at this day, — from the per- 
fect representation given by the prophets, of every fea- 
ture of fallen Babylon, now at last utterly desolate, — men 
may know that God is the Lord, seeing that all who 
have visited and describe it, show that the predicted 
judgments against it have been literally fulfilled ; so at 
that time, Cyrus — who, for two years, could only look 
on the outer side of the outer wall of Babylon, and who 
had begun to despair of deducing it by famine — was to 
know by the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of 
secret places being given into his hand, that the Lord 
which had called him by his name, was the God of Israel. 
And when the appointed time had come that the power 
of their oppressor was to be broken, Babylon was taken ; 
and when the similarly prescribed period of the captivity 
of the Jews, for whose sake he was called, had expired, 
Cyrus was their deliverer. 

Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose 
right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him. 
Cyrus, commencing his career with a small army of Per- 
sians, not only succeeded to the kingdom of the Medes 
and Persians, first united under him, but the Hyrcanians 
yielded also voluntarily to his authority. He subdued 
the Syrians, Assyrians, Cappadocians, both Phrygias, the 
Lydians, Carians, Phoenicians, and Babylonians. He 
governed the Bactrians, Indians, and Cilicians, and also 
the Sacians, Paphlagonians and Mariandynians, and other 
nations. He likewise reduced to his authority the Greeks 
that were in Asia, and the Cyprians, and Egyptians.* 
JVations were thus subdued before him. 

I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not 
regard silver ; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it. 
He who was called the anointed of the Lord was free 
from covetousness. His character is drawn by Xeno- 
phon, (who states that he excelled all other kings,) as the 
' Xen. Cyr. lib. i. pp. 4, 5. 


model of a wise and generous prince. The liberality of 
Cyrus was more noble than the mere possession of im- 
mensity of wealth, though including both the riches of 
Croesus and the treasures of Babylon. He reckoned that 
his riches belonged not any more to himself than to his 
friends.^ And he made as well as pronounced it his ob- 
ject to use and not to hoard his wealth, and to apply it 
to the reward of his servants, and in relief of their wants. 
So little did he regard silver or delight in gold, that Croesus 
told him that by his liberality he would make himself 
poor, instead of storing up vast treasures to himself. 
The Medes possessed, in this respect, the spirit of their 
chief, of which an instance, recorded by Xenophon, is 
too striking and appropriate to be passed over.^ When 
Gobryas, an Assyrian governor, whose son the king of 
Babylon had slain, hospitably entertained him and his 
army, Cyrus appealed to the chiefs of the Medes and 
Hyrcanians, and to the noblest and most honourable of 
the Persians, whether giving first what was due unto the 
gods, and leaving to the rest of the army their portion, 
they would not overmatch his generosity by ceding to 
him their whole share of the first and plentiful booty 
which they had won from the land of Babylon. Loudly 
applauding the proposal, they immediately and unani- 
mously consented ; and one of them said, " Gobryas may 
have thought us poor, because we came not loaded with 
golden coins,^ and drink not out of golden cups ; but by 
this he will know, that men can be generous even with- 
out gold."^ ^s for gold^ they did not delight in it. 

Gobryas, it may be presumed, was stirred up and pre- 
pared, by gratitude on the one hand, as well as by re- 
venge on the other, to go up against Babylon. And, it 
may be mentioned, he was afterwards the first to lead 
the way to the palace ; and — for, though a great deep, 
the judgments of God are altogether righteous — his hand 
was among those who slew the murderer of his son. 

While such abundant illustrations of the truth of pro- 

' Xen. Cyr. lib. viii. c. iv. p. 516. 2 jb, ijb. viii. c. ii. p. 482. 
3 Darics. -i Xen. lib. v. p. 289. 


phecy in respect to tlie siege of Babylon are before us, 
it may be specially noted, that there is not any other 
king or conqueror in ancient history, or even in Christian 
times, whose character, in the union of a noble disinterest- 
edness and nobler self-denial, an4 of a sound because moral 
policy, and of an integrity which casts the conduct of 
many others into the shade, and of forbearance and gene- 
rosity towards conquered enemies, the Babylonians ex- 
cepted, ever surpassed or equalled that of Cyrus, as 
drawn or described by profane historians. By some it 
has indeed been deemed, we think unjustly, as in part a 
fiction, even because of its very excellence. But the 
description is given by a heathen, which tallies so closely 
with the word of the prophet. Thus saith the Lord to 
his anointed y to Cyrus, and I have raised him up in right- 
eousness, and I will direct all his ways.^ 

And it is immediately added by the prophet — lie shall 
build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for 
price nor reward, saith the Lord qfhosts.^ And assuredly 
he was the man who first set forth the decree for the 
restoration of the Jews and the rebuilding of the temple. 
And far from acting thus, either for price or reward, he 
commanded the generals and governors in the vicinity 
of Judea, to supply the Jews with gold and silver, for 
the building of the temple, and beasts for sacrifice, which 
accordingly they did." 

Previous to the siege of Babylon, and in preparing the 
nations against her, Cyrus, after a desperate conflict, 
subdued the Egyptians, and the other confederates of 
Croesus.* The Egyptians, though the most valiant and 
unyielding of his foes, on being reduced under his power, 
remained afl:erwards faithful to the king.* Ethiopia was, 
on the south, the boundary of his dominions.^ Thus 
saith the Lord, the labour of Egypt and the merchandise 
of Ethiopia, and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall 

1 Isa. xlv. 1, 13. 2 isa. xlv. 13. 

3 Jos. Ant. lib. xi. c. i. § 2, 3. " Xen. Cyr. lib. i. c. ii. p. 5. 

* Xen. Cyr. lib . vii. c. i. p. 407. 6 Xen. Cyr. lib. viii. c. viii. p. 645. 


come over unto thee, and they shall be thine : they shall 
come over after thee. 

They shall fall down unto thee. In his magnificent 
procession after the conquest of Babylon, where Cyrus 
first pubhcly presented himself before his army drawn 
up in array in the midst of assembled multitudes, so soon 
as, standing erect in his chariot, he came forth from the 
gate of the palace, all seeing, adored, or fell down unto 
him.^ It was an ancient opinion, that Cyrus was the 
first man to whom adoration was thus paid : and that the 
eastern mode of prostration or falling down unto mon- 
archs, especially among the Medes and Persians, had 
hence its origin. ^ This opinion, whether true or false, 
may at least testify to the fact, that the adoration paid to 
Cyrus was both remarkable and memorable. 

./Ind they shall make supplication to him. Not even 
adoration, unmeet for man, could disturb the equanimity 
of Cyrus ; but his clemency and condescension shone 
brighter than his diadem. Released from the yoke of 
the king of Babylon, who, proud as Lucifer, neither lis- 
tened to the cry of the oppressed, nor opened the door 
of his prisoners, very many, according to their various 
wants, petitioned Cyrus as he passed in his triumphal 
course through the admiring crowds. So numerous were 
the petitions addressed to him, that unable to hear them, 
and tempering mercy with judgment, and generosity with 
justice, he commanded three sceptre-bearers on each 
side, to tell them to make their requests known to him 
through his generals or friends, whom also he required 
to lay before him every case worthy of a hearing. 

Such was the first conquest ; such the first conqueror 
of Babylon ; and such the prophetic history of both. 

None shall return in vain. The walls of Babylon 
were incomparably the loftiest and the strongest ever 

' iJ(jvris 5t TTcLVTSc Tr^oa-iKWho-uv. Xen. Cyr. lib. viii. c. iii. p. 494. 
The same Greek word, descriptive of the act, and coupled with 
the name of Cyras, is used also by Arrian, and also in the Septu- 
agint or Greek translation of this very verse. 

2 Arrian. de Exp. Alex. lib. iv. c. xi. 



built by man. They were constructed of such stupen- 
dous size and strength, on very purpose that no possibility 
might exist of Babylon ever being taken. And, if ever 
confidence in bulwarks could not have been misplaced, 
it was when the citizens and soldiery of Babylon, who 
feared to encounter their enemies in the field, — in per- 
fect assurance of their safety, and beyond the reach of 
the Parthian arrow, scoffed, fi-om the summit of their 
impregnable walls, the hosts which encompassed them. 
But though the proud boast of a city so defended, and 
which had never been taken, — that it would stand for 
ever, — seemed scarcely presumptuous ; yet, subsequently 
to the delivery of the prophecies concerning it, Babylon 
was not only repeatedly taken, but was never once be- 
sieged in vain. Cyrus indeed departed, after he first 
appeared before its walls, but he went to prepare and 
gatlwr together the Tuitions against it. And he did not 
return in vain. But this prediction, as it is applicable 
also to all others, is true, not of him only, but also of all 
who, in after ages, came up against Babylon. It fell 
before every hand that was raised against it. Yet its 
greatness did not depart, nor was its glory obscured in a 
day. Cyrus was not its destroyer ; but he sought by 
wise institutions to perpetuate its pre-eminence among 
the nations. He left it to his successor in all its strength 
and magnificence. Rebelling against Darius, the Baby- 
lonians made preparations for a siege, and bade defiance 
to the whole power of the Persian empire. Fully re- 
solved not to yield, and that famine might never reduce 
them to submission, they adopted the most desperate and 
barbarous resolution of putting every woman in the city 
to death, with the exception of their mothers, and one 
female, the best beloved in every family, to bake their 
bread. All the rest were assembled together, and stran- 
gled.^ These two things shall come upon thee in a rno- 
ment in one day, the loss of children and widowhood : 
they shall come upon thee in their perfiction,for the muU 

1 Herod, lib. iii. c. cl. torn. iii. 160, edit. Foul. See Prideaux, 
Ih&hop Newton. 


titude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine 
enchantments. For thou hast trusted in thy wickediiess, 
&c. They did come upon them in their perfection, 
when their wives and children were strangled by their 
own hands ; and so suddenly, as before, in a moment in 
one day, did these things come upon them, that the vic- 
tims were assembled for the sacrifice ; so general was 
the instant widowhood, that fifty thousand women were 
afterwards taken, in proportionate numbers, from the 
diflferent neighbouring provinces of the empire, to re- 
place those who had been slain ; and the very reserva- 
tion of their mothers multiplied the lamentations for the 
loss of children. But trust in their wickedness brought 
them no safety. For, while they were thus instrumental 
in the infliction of one grievous judgment, for which such 
murderers were ripe, their iniquity was ndt thereby les- 
sened ; and therefore, at however great a price, they 
procured not any security against another judgment, 
which also had been denounced against Babylon for its 
wickedness. They deemed themselves absolutely secure 
against famine and against assault. The artifice of Cy- 
rus could not again be a snare ; and an attempt to 
renew it was, along with every other, entirely frustrated. 
But still it was 7iot in vain that Darius besieged Babylon. 
In the twentieth month of the siege a single Persian, 
whose body was covered over with the marks of stripes 
and with blood, and whose nose and ears had been 
newly cut oflf, presented himself at one of the gates of 
Babylon, — a helpless object of pity, and, if not a great 
criminal indeed, the obvious victim of wanton and sa- 
vage cruelty. He had fled, or escaped, from the camp 
of the enemy. But he was not a common deserter, such 
as they might not have admitted within their walls, 
but it was Zopyrus, who was well known as one of the 
chief nobles of Persia. He represented to the Babylo- 
nians, that, not for any crime, but for the honest advice 
which he had given to Darius to raise the siege, as the 
taking of the city seemed to all impossible, the enraged 
tyrant (his pride wounded, or his fears perhaps awakened. 


that his army would be discouraged by such counsel) 
had inflicted upon him the severest cruelties, caused him 
to be mutilated as they saw, and to be scourged, of 
which his whole body bore the marks ; — to one of his 
proud spirit and high rank, disgrace was worse than 
sufferiiig, and he came to join the revolters, his soul 
burning for vengeance against their common tyrant. 
" And now," addressing them, he said, " I come for the 
greatest good to you, for the greatest evil to Darius, to 
his army, and to the Persians. The injuries which I 
have suifered shall not be unrevenged, for I know, and 
will disclose all his designs." 

On such proofs, and cheered by such hopes, the Baby- 
lonians did not doubt the sincerity of Zopyrus nor his 
devotion to their cause, identified, as it clearly seemed, 
with the only hope of revenge against the cruel author 
of his wrongs, towards whom they could not conceive 
but that he would cherish an inflexible hatred. He 
sought but to fight against their enemies. At his re- 
quest, they gladly and unhesitatingly intrusted him with 
a military command. Forgiveness of injuries was not 
then reckoned a virtue, which it is too seldom practi- 
cally accounted even in a Christian land ; and vengeance, 
still called honour, sleeps not in an unforgiving breast. 
Zopyrus soon satisfied the Babylonians that his WTongs 
would not long be unavenged. To their delight, having 
watched the first opportunity, he sallied forth from the 
gates of Semiramis, on the tenth day after his entrance 
into the city, and falling suddenly on a thousand of the 
enemy, slew them every one. After an interval of only 
seven days, twice that number were, in like manner, 
slain, near the Ninian gates. The men of Babylon were 
animated with new vigour and new hopes ; the praise 
of Zopyrus was on every tongue. He received a 
higher command. But the Persians, seemingly more 
wary, were nowhere open to attack for the space of 
twenty days. On the expiration of that period, how- 
ever, Zopyrus, by a noted exploit, again proved him- 
self worthy of still greater authority, by leading out his 


troops from the Chaldean gates, and killing, in one spot, 
four thousand men. In reward for such services, and 
such tried fidelity, skill, and courage, as none, they 
thought, could be more worthy of the honour and of the 
trust, they not only raised him to the chief command of 
their army, but appointed him to the dignified and most 
responsible office in Babylon, which it was his aim to 
attain, that of (tBi.%o^v%a^) guardian of their walls. ^ 

Darius, as if to be secure against the continued repe- 
tition of such desultory carnage of his troops, advanced 
with all his army to the w^alls. They were manned to 
repel the assault. But the treachery of Zopyrus, how- 
ever incredible, and unknown and unsuspected, alike by 
the Babylonians and the Persians, became immediately 
apparent. Intrusted as he was, in virtue of his office, 
with the gates of the city, no sooner had the enemy 
approached, and the armed citizens ascended the walls, 
than he opened the Belidian and the Cissian gates, close 
to which the choicest Persian troops were stationed.^ 
The whole scheme was a preconcerted snare, known 
only to Darius and Zopyrus, and invented solely by the 
latter, the mutilation of w^hose body was his own volun- 
tary act. To the glory of the deed were added the 
greatest gifts and honours, and the governorship of 
Babylon without tribute, for his reward. The numbers 
of the different detachments of the Persian troops who 
fell, their positions, and the precise time of their succes- 
sive advancements, had all been resolved on and ar- 
ranged. And Darius as freely sacrificed the lives of 
seven thousand men, as Zopyrus had inflicted incurable 
wounds upon himself " Thus," says Herodotus, " was 
Babylon a second time taken." And thus was the 
word of God — from whom nothing past, present, or 
future, can be hid — a second time fulfilled against Ba- 
bylon — none shall return in vain. 

Babylon was a third time taken by Alexander the 
Great. Mazseus, the Persian general, surrendered the 
city into his hands, and he entered it with his army 

' Herod, c. clii. — clvii. pp. 166 — 173. 2 Herod, c. clviii. clix. 


drawn up, " as if they were marching to battle."* Again 
was it Jilled with men, and literally was every man put 
in array, like a man to the battle. The siege of so for- 
tified a city^ would have been a work of great difficulty 
and labour, even to the conqueror of Asia. But the in- 
habitants eagerly flocked upon the walls to see their new 
king, and exchanged, without a struggle, the Persian for 
the Macedonian yoke. Babylon was afterwards suc- 
cessively taken by Antigonus, by Demetrius, by An- 
tiochus the Great, and by the Parthians. But whatever 
king or nation came up against it, none returned in vain. 
Each step in the progress of the decline of Babylon 
was the accomplishment of a prophecy. Conquered, for 
the first time,^ by Cyrus, it was afterwards reduced from 
an imperial to a tributary city. Come down and sit in 
the dusty virgin daughter of Babylon; sit on the 
ground, there is no throne, daughter of the Chaldeans. — 
After the Babylonians rebelled against Darius, the walls 
were reduced in height, and all the gates destroyed."* 
The wall of Babylon shall fall, her walls thrown down. — 
Xerxes, afler his ignominious retreat from Greece, rifled 
the temples of Babylon,* the golden images alone in 
which were estimated at 20,000,000/., besides treasures 
of vast amount. / will punish Bel in Babylon, and I 
will bring forth out of his mouth that which he has swal- 
lowed up ; I will do judgment upon the graven images 
of Babylon.^ — Alexander the Great attempted to restore 
it to its former glory, and designed to make it the me- 
tropolis of a universal empire. But while the building 
of the temple of Belus and the reparation of the em- 
bankments of the Euphrates were actually carrying on, 
the conqueror of the world died, at the commencement 

' Quadrate agmine, quod ipse ducebat, velut in aciem irent, in- 
gredi suos jubet. (Quint. Curt. lib. v. c. ii.) 

' Tam munitae urbis. (Ibid.) 

' Herod, lib. i. c. cxci. Lowth, Bishop Newton. 

'' Herod, lib. iii. c. cl. Calmet, &c. 

* Herod, lib. i. c. clxxxiii. Arrian. de Expeditione Alex, lib; vii. 
i. xvii. Prideaux, Lowth, Bishop Newton. 

« Jer. li. 44, 47, 53. 


of this his last undertaking, in the height of his power, 
and in the flower of his age.^ Take halm for her pain, 
if so be that she may bt healed. We would have healed 
Babylon, but she is not healed.^ — Patrocles, the governor 
of Babylon under Seleucus, one of the successors of 
Alexander, alarmed at the sudden and unexpected tidings, 
that his enemy, Demetrius, with an army, was at hand, 
dared not, from the small number of his forces, wait his 
approach, ordered the Babylonians to leave the city and 
to " flee into the desert,"^ and, abandoning the city, 
sought protection for himself and for his troops from the 
marshes of the Euphrates rather than the walls of Baby- 
lon. On entering Babylon, though he had come up 
suddenly like the swelling of a river, Demetrius found 
" a deserted city."'* He shall come up like a lion from 
the swelling of Jordan unto the habitation of the strong ; 
bat I will make them suddenly run away from her.^ 

Babylon was soon resorted to again, but the vicinity 
of the city of Seleucia, built on very purpose, as Pliny 
records,^ and as Christian writers have long remarked, 
tended greatly to its abandonment and decay, and was 
the chief cause of the decline of Babylon as a city, and 
drained it of a great part of its population. Ptolemy 
Euergetes, who extended his conquests beyond the Eu- 
phrates, carried with him into Egypt 2500 idols, some 
of which Cambyses, who reigned at Babylon, had long 
before taken from the Egyptians.'' At a later period, or 
130 years before the Christian era, Phraates, king of 
Parthia, as Justin relates, having marched against the 
Scythians, who had begun to lay waste his territories, 
delegated his authority to one Himerus, a favourite on 
account of the beauty of his youth or childhood, who, 
forgetful of his former (condition of) Hfe, and of his 

1 Arrian. lib. vii. c. xvii.; Strabo, lib. xvi. p. 738. Rollin. 

2 Jer. li. 8, 9. 3 ^y^iy jjf tmv €g«/*ov. 

^ Boi^vxZvst. T»v ■voxtv iKKikUjUfAmv Itj^i. Diod. Sic. torn. viii. lib. xix. 
pp. 423, 424. 5 Jer. 1. 44. 

6 In solitudinem rediit exhausta vicinitati SeleucisB, ob id con- 
ditoe a Nicatore. Plin. Nat. Hist. 1. vi. c. 36. 

7 Hieron. Tom. v. p. 7()fi, in Dan. xi. 8. 


duty as deputy, grievously oppressed the Babylonianfr 
and other states.* Phraates was discomfited and slain 
by the Sc3rthians, as was also his uncle and successor, 
Artabanus, soon after by the Thogarii ; and his soi 
Mithridates the Great immediately succeeded to the 
kingdom of Parthia. Diodorus Siculus, in seeming in 
advertence, speaks of Euemerus or Humerus as king of 
Parthia; but mentions that he was an Hyrcanian by 
birth : and in a single passage or fragment, his descrip- 
tion of the cruelties exercised by him against the Baby- 
lonians is rich in illustrations, and, conjoined with cor- 
roborative testimony, marks the continued progress of 
the prophetic judgments against Babylon. Exceeding 
in cruelty all known tyrants, as Diodorus relates, he 
omitted no sort of punishment ; for having enslaved 
many of the Babylonians even for any cause whatever, 
he was wont to send them away with all their house- 
holds into Media, having given orders that their effects, 
or rather that they themselves should be sold as spoil. 
He also set fire to the forum of Babylon, and to some 
of the temples, and destroyed the fairest part of the city.^ 

1 Phraates cum adversus eos proficisceretur, ad tutelam regni 
reliquit Himerum quendam, pueritiae sibi flore conciliatum ; qui 
tyrannica crudelitate, oblitus et vitSB praeteritse, el vicarii officii, 
Babylonios, multasque alias civitates importune vexavit. Justin, 
lib. xlii. cap. 1. 

* 'Ot/ 'EuMjuigcc ruv Uu^Bcev 0:t(rt\tug, YgK«v»? iv to ytvoc, l/uvnTt it 
vTn^lidO^Km w«VT*? T&wf /Li.vM/jLOvvjfA.&'Mi iv^Arvovf, cvK ia-riv ottciov TifAU^mt 

vofluit/f i^it) «ic T»y MxJ/av i^vrtfx-\i 7rgc<Tra.^ci; \aupv^c7raX»a-sw* 
nAi TMf BitySi/Aavoc t«v ayogtiv, tivsl raiv It^av, ive?r^(r(, x,at to x.^a.TUTTcv rut 
TToxmti Jn^Bupi. Diod. Sic. vol. x. p. 128. Translated as above. 
The preceding passage of Diodorus is quoted by Usher and 
Bishop Newton, &c., as descriptive of the desolation of Babylon 
and of the cruelties exercised against the Babylonians, without 
any specific reference to any special prediction. In the common 
Latin translation, which alone they quote, there is no mention 
whatever, as in the original, of the fact, that commandment was 
given by the tyrant that their spoils should be sold, or that the 

* A.a0vpa is a term which specially denotes the spoils taken from the living, 
as distinguished from orKvXa, or those of the dead. Scap. The compound word 
is otherwise used by Diodorus to denote that the persons of captives were sold 
as spoil, and thus implies that they were subjected to the lowest servitude and 
utmost spoliation. 


There is m throne, daughter of the Chaldeans ; for 
thou shalt no more he called tender and delicate. Take 
the millstones and grind meal, &c. This prophecy is 
thus interpreted by Grotius and Lowth, without any 
allusion to the actual fact of the servitude or slavery 
of the Babylonians — " Prepare yourselves for servile 
offices."^ "From being mistress of kingdoms thou shalt 
become a mean slave ; thy captives shall be set to grind, 
which was reckoned the lowest degree of drudgery, (see 
Exod. xi.. Judges xvi. 21,) such was the pistrinu7n, or 
turning the mill among the Romans."^ Himerus, the 
worst of tyrants, exercised every species of cruelty upon 
the Babylonians, and reduced many of them to actual 
slavery, and consequently to its meanest toils. / will 
cause the arrogancy of tJie proud to cease, and will lay 
low the haughtiness of the terrible.^ 

In suddenly running away from her at the approach 
of Demetrius, some of the inhabitants of Babylon left the 
Euphrates and fled to the desert, others passed over the 
Tigris into Susiana; and the intervening rivers and 
ditches, or marshy ground, over which they had to pass 
in their hasty retreat, were the best protection of the band 
that accompanied Patrocles. After reducing many of 
the Babylonians to bondage, Himerus banished them 
from Babylon into Media, which lay beyond the Tigris 
and Choaspes, and their tributary streams ; but first he 

exiles, as spoil, should be set up for sale. But it is not unworthy 
of being noted; for Lowth, who does not refer to this testimony 
of Diodorus or to any similar facts whatever, thus gives the inter- 
pretation of the words of the prophecy. Uncover thy locks, ^c. " Thy 
hair shall hang about thy ears, without being dressed up or 
adorned with a diadem ; thou shalt lose all thy firiery and those orna- 
ments in which thou didst pride thyself, as marks of thy state ; 
and the persons of the greatest quality shall be despoiled of their 
gaiety, and carried captives in a mean and ragged condition." Such 
was the interpretation of an able commentator before the fact was 
applied to the prediction. And such is the confirmation which it 
receives, after the lapse of more than a century, from the words 
omitted by a translator, but which are to be found in the old as 
well as modern editions of Diodorus. 

' Para te servilibus ministeriis. Grot. Isa. xlvii. 2. 

* Lowth. Ibid. 3 Isa. xiii. 11. 



commanded that they should be sold ; and the rich and 
gay apparel of the proud daughter of Babylon, ill suited 
to the wandering exiles, did not any longer befit their 
station or their toils. The mandates of those who at dif- 
ferent times had been appointed over her were obeyed ; 
but it had long before been written concerning the 
daughter of the Chaldeans, uncover thy locks, malce bare 
the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers, &c. Thou 
saidst, I shall be a lady for ever : so that thou didst not 
lay these things to thy heart, neitJier didst remember the 
latter end of U.^ 

The temples of Babylon were rifled of their idols by 
Xerxes, the king of Persia, till the weiglit of these in 
gold amounted to 400,000 pounds. Ptolemy Euergetes 
having extended his conquests beyond the Euphrates, 
took with him from the conquered provinces, on his 
sudden recall and hasty return into Egypt, 2500 idols, 
some of which Cambyses, the son of Cyrus, who reigned 
at Babylon, had previously taken from the Egyptians. 
When Babylon was exhausted by Seleucia, 40 miles dis- 
tant, and many of the Babylonians removed to that city ; 
and also when many of them at a later period were com- 
manded, together with all their households, (Ttovotxtwj,) 
to depart to Media; it may be presumed that their house- 
hold gods, though a hinderance rather than a help, thus 
formed, time after time, a portion of their household 
effects ; and that when their temples were finally burned, 
many of the idols were carried away by the idolatrous 
Babylonians, condemned to perpetuaJ slavery and ban- 
ishment, in their weary pilgrimage to the far distant 
land of their enemies. And thus it was written : Their 
idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle, your car- 
riages were heavy loaden ; they are a burden to the weary 
beast. They stoop; they bow down together; they could 
not deliver tJie burden; 

But themselves are gone into captivity.^ Media, from 
the first, was called to besiege Babylon ; for the device 
of the Lord was against Babylon to destroy it. And in 
' Isa. xlvii. 2, 3, 7. 2 isa. xlvi. 1, 2. 


the latter end, 308 years after the siege, and 582 years 
after the date of the prophecy, the enslaved Babylonians 
did go to Media into captivity. 

Himerus, an Hyrcanian by birth, was but a youth, if 
not a boy, the floridness of whose juvenile looks (flore 
pueritice) was, together with the casual absence of the 
king, the cause of his sudden elevation to that power 
which, forgetful of his former state, he so greatly abused, 
as to excel all tyrants in cruelty. And while the full 
measure of his severities, of which none were omitted, 
was the cup of indignation prepared for the Babylonians, 
it may be said also of him : Surely the least of the flock 
shall draw them out ; surely he shall make their habita- 
tion desolate with them.^ His youth, and elevation to 
power from such a cause, may mark him out as the least 
of the flock ; and in fulfilling the counsel that the Lord 
had taken against Babylon^ surely he at once drew them 
out, and made their habitation desolate with them. 

He sent them forth from Babylon, together with all 
their households ; many of the Babylonians had pre- 
viously removed with all their effects to Seleucia ; They 
shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast. ^ 

The temple of Belus, first built to bind the human 
race to the plains of Shinar, and the other temples of 
their gods, and many of their fine houses, while yet un- 
demolished, may have long tended to keep the lingering 
Babylonians within the precincts of the devoted city. 
But the judgment of God rested on the most magnificent 
of their temples, as well as on the proud idolaters and 
their senseless idols : and the soothsayers, tJie star-gazers, 
and the monthly prognosticators, could not stand up and 
save them from the things that were to come upon them; 
and the time was come when the temples of the Baby- 
lonians could no longer be their trust or their resort, and 
when their efforts to save them or their habitations would 
be in vain. For it is expressly related that Himerus set 
fire to the forum and some of the temples, and destroyed 
the fairest part of the city: Behold, they shall be as stub- 
' Jer 1. 45. 2 jer. 1. 3. 


bU, the fire slmll hum them ; they shall not deliver them- 
selves from the power of the Jlame.^ The people shall 
labour in vain, and the folk in the fire, and they shall he 
weary,* Bel howeth down; JVebo stoopeth; 1 will punish 
Bel in Babylon ; and t/ie nations shall not flow togetfier 
any more unto him.^ 

It is tJie vengeance of the Lord : take vengeance upon 
her: as she hath done, do unto her.* — Wo unto them! 
for their day is come, the time of their visitation. The 
voice oftJiem thatfi^e and escape out oftlie land of Baby- 
lon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God, 
the vengeance of his tetnple. — Recompense her according 
to her work ; according to all that she hath done, do unto 
her ; for slie hath been proud against the Lord, against 
tlie Holy One of Israel.^ — / will render unto Babylon, 
and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea, all their evil that 
they have done in Zion in your sight, saith the Lord — 
The Lord God of recompenses shall surely requite.^ The 
facts relative to the siege of Jerusalem and the captivity 
of the Jews thus take the place of predictions ; and a 
parallel may at length be drawn between what the Baby- 
lonians did, and what they suffered. 

Bands of tlie Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, and 
bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Jim- 
mon came up against Judah to destroy it J And so soon 
as the time of recompenses began, an assembly of great 
nations, gathered together out of all the countries from 
Egypt to the bounds of the Caspian, and from Lydia to 
the Persian gulf, came up against Babylon. — JVebuchad^ 
nezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against 
Jerusalem, and pitched against it; and they built forts 
against it round about, and the city was besieged.^ Cyrus, 
having prepared the nations against Babylon, encamped 
against it round about, built forts against it,^ and laid 
siege to the city, which had long been the terror of the 

' Isa. xl. 13, 14. 2 jer. li. 58. « Jer. li. 44 

* Jer. 1. 15. * Jer. 1. 27, 28, 29. e jer. li. 24, 56. 

' 2 Kings xxiv. 2. 8 2 Kings xxv. 1, 2 
9 Xen. Cyr lib. vii. c. v. p. 433. 


nations. — The Chaldeans took Zedekiah, the king of Ju- 
dah, and gave judgment upon him, and slew his sons the 
PRINCES OF JUDAH before his face ; and the captain of the 
Babylonish guard took the chief priest and the second 
priest, and tJie officer that was set over the men of war, 
and five men of them that were in the Jcingh presence, and 
the principal scribe, which mustered the people of tlie land, 
and threescore others, and brought them to the king of 
Babylon, and the king of Babylon smote them and slew 
them^ And in the night in which Babylon was taken, 
the king, together with many of his nobles, was slain. 
Nor was the slaughter of the chief rulers of Israel left 
unavenged, when Darius, as Herodotus relates, impaled 
3000 of the chief nobility of Babylon.^ — Ml the army of 
the Chaldeans brake down the walls of Jerusalem round 
about,^ and thus Darius brake down the wall of Babylon. 
■ — JVebuchadnezzar carried the vessels of the house of the 
Lord to Babylon, and put them in his temple at Babylon — 
and all the vessels, great and small, and the treasures of 
the house of the Lord, and the treasures of tlie king and 
of his princes, all tJiese he brought to Babylon.* — The 
treasures of the temple of Belus became the property of 
Cyrus ; and Darius and Xerxes, devoted Magians or wor- 
shippers of fire, began and carried on against it the re- 
venges of the temple of Jerusalem, till all its treasures 
were exhausted, and all its idols broken, and all that Bel 
had swallowed up was brought forth out of his mouth. 
JYebuzaradan, a captain of the guard, a servant of the 
king of Babylon, came unto Jerusalem, and he burned the 
house of the Lord, and the kingh house, and all the houses 
of Jerusalem, and every great man's house burned 
HE WITH FIRE.* Himcrus, a deputy and servant of the 
king of Parthia, set fire to the forum and some of the 
temples of Babylon, and destroyed the best oi fairest 
parts of the city. — The people (of Judah) transgressed very 
much, they mocked the messengers of the Lord — therefore 

' 2 Kings XXV. 6, 7, 18—21. 

3 2 Kings XXV. 10. 4 2 Chron. xxxvi. 7. ^ 2 Kings xxv. 8, 9. 



he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, and he 
gave ALL into his hands.^ The captive Jews were ser- 
vants to JVebuchadnezzar and his sons. The poorest only 
of the people of the land were left to he vine-dressers and 
htisbandmen, and to serve the king of Babylon. And 
when the conquerors became the conquered, Cyrus held 
all the property and the persons of the Babylonians, as 
given unto him.^ Having taken Babylon, Cyrus com- 
manded the Babylonians, on pain of death, to deliver up 
their arms ; enacted that they should cultivate the land, 
and pay tribute, and serve those to whom they were 
respectively given, and he ordered the Persians, and 
their allies, to speak as masters or lords to those whom 
they had received.' Addressing his assembled chiefs, 
he maintained that all were theirs by right of conquest, 
as by an eternal law, and that they had entered into the 
possession of a large and fertile country, and of a people 
to cultivate it for their use. Successive rulers held them 
in the same dependent state, and revolt from oppression 
finally entailed a servitude as heavy and grievous as that 
which they had formerly exacted. — The Babylonians had 
made the Jews to serve in a hard bondage, and showed them 
no mercy, but laid tJieir yoke very heavily upon them.^ 
Cyrus reduced the Babylonians to the most abject state, 
to secure their submission.* Darius after their rebellion 
tyrannized over them more cruelly than before. The 
cruelties exercised by the idolaters against the worship- 
pers of the God of Israel, were retaliated on themselves 
by the worshippers of fire, and enemies of idolatry. And 
while no mercy was shown unto Israel, Himerus, excell- 
ing all known tyrants in cruelties, exercised them all, 
and omitted no sort of punishment, or showed no mercy 
to the inhabitants of Babylon. Babylon, that led Judah 
captive, and smote the people in wrath with a continual 
stroke, and that ruled the nations in anger, became the 

1 2 Chron. xxxvi. 14, 16, 17. 

2 Xen. Cyr. lib. vii. c. v. pp. 440,441. 

3 Ibid. pp. 452, 453. 4 isa. xiv. 3 ; Jer. xlvii. 6. 
6 Xen. Cyr. lib. vii. p. 451. 


victim of the wrath it had provoked, and was smitten 
with a continual stroke, and long continued to be the 
threshing-floor of the nations, though 400 years had 
elapsed from its subjection to Cyrus till its enslaved citi- 
zens, in token of the vengeance of the temple of the 
Lord, went forth into captivity, dazzled and distressed by 
the blaze of the temples of Babylon. 

The " golden city," which once triumphed over Jeru- 
salem, thus gradually verged, for centuries, towards 
poverty and desolation. Notwithstanding that Cyrus 
resided chiefly at Babylon, and sought to reform the 
government and remodel the manners of the Babylonians, 
the succeeding kings of Persia preferred, as the seat of 
empire, Susa, Persepolis, or Ecbatana, situated in their 
oion country ; and in like manner the successors of Alex- 
ander did not attempt to complete his purpose of restoring 
Babylon to its pre-eminence and glory ; but, afl;er the 
subdivision of his mighty empire, the very kings of 
Assyria, during their temporary residence even in Chal- 
dea, deserted Babylon, and dwelt in Seleucia. And 
thus the foreign inhabitants, first Persians, and after- 
wards Greeks, imitating their sovereigns by deserting 
Babylon, acted as if they verily had said, — Forsake her^ 
and let us go every man unto his own country ; for her 
judgment is reached unto heaven, and is lifted up even to 
the sides. Babylon shall he as a chased roe, and as a 
sheep that no man taketh up ; they shall every man turn 
to his own people, andjke every one into his own land. 

Kindred judgments — the issue of common crimes — 
rested on the land of Chaldea, as well as on its doomed 
metropolis ; and the tracing of their fulfilment may best 
lead to the view of the utter desolation of fallen Babylon. 

They come from a far country, from the end of tlie 
earth, to destroy the whole land. Many nations and great 
kings shall serve themselves of t/tee also, &c. The 
Persians, the Macedonians, the Parthians, the Romans, 


the Saracens, and the Turks, are the chief of the many 
nations who have unscrupulously and unsparingly served 
themselves of the land of the Chaldeans : and Cyrus and 
Darius, kings of Persia ; Alexander the Great, and Se- 
leucus, king of Assyri-a ; Demetrius and Antiochus the 
Great; Trajan, Severus, Julian, and Heraclius, empe- 
rors of Rome ; the victorious Omar, the successor of 
Mahomet ; Holagou and Tamerlane, are great kings, 
who successively subdued or desolated Chaldea, or ex- 
acted from it tribute to such an extent, as scarcely any 
other country ever paid to a single conqueror. And, 
though the names of some of these nations were un- 
known to the Babylonians, and unheard of in the world 
at the tiitoe of the prophecy, most of these many nations 
and great kings need now but be named, to show that, 
in local relation to Chaldea, They came from the utmost 
border^ from the coasts oftJie earth. 

They are cruel both in anger and fierce wrath to lay 
the land desolate, &c. The Persians vied with the 
Parthians in cruelty and fierceness against resisting and 
against subjugated enemies. Three thousand Babylo- 
nians were at once impaled by order of Darius. Con- 
quest was the object, and kindness was not in the nature 
of the Macedonian conquerors of Babylon. The posses- 
sion of Chaldea was contested between Antigonus and 
Seleucus, and ruler rose against ruler. After its long 
subjection to the Seleucidae, the proverbially cruel Par- 
thians held Babylonia in bondage. In the second cen- 
tury of the Christian era, the Romans, coming from afar, 
still maintained the character of the cruel and fierce 
desolators of Chaldea, and were thus the unconscious 
instruments of the fulfilment of other prophecies. " Under 
the reign of Marcus, the Roman generals penetrated as 
far as Ctesiphon and Seleucia. They were received as 
friends by the Greek colony ; they attacked as enemies 
the seat of the Parthian kings, yet both cities experienced 
the same treatment. The sack and conflagration of 
Seleucia, with the massacre of three hundred thousand of 
the inhatntantSy tarnished the glory of the Roman triumph 


Seleucia sunk under the fatal blow ; but Ctesiphon, in 
about thirty-three years, had sufficiently recovered its 
strength to maintain an obstinate siege against the em- 
peror Severus."* Ctesiphon was thrice besieged and 
thrice taken by the predecessors of Julian. And when 
attacked by Julian, the anger of that Roman emperor 
and of his army was not moderated, nor their cruelty 
abated, by the effectual resistance of the citizens of 
Ctesiphon against sixty thousand besiegers. " The 
fields of Assyria were devoted by Julian to the calamities 
of war; and the philosopher retaliated on a guiltless 
people the acts of rapine and cruelty which had been 
committed by their haughty master in the Roman pro- 
vinces ; the Persians beheld from the walls of Ctesiphon 
the desolation of the adjacent country."^ With such 
violence did he wreak his vengeance on the inhabitants 
of Chaldea, that their fierce wrath was conjoined with 
the cruelty of their enemies to lay the land desolate. 
" The extensive region that lies between the river Tigris 
and the mountains of Media, was filled with villages and 
towns ; and the fertile soil, for the most part, was in a 
very improved state of cultivation. — But on the approach 
of the Romans, this rich and smiling prospect was in- 
stantly blasted. Wherever they moved, the inhabitants 
deserted the open villages, and took shelter in the forti- 
fied towns ; the cattle were driven away ; the grass and 
ripe corn were consumed with fire ; and as soon as the 
flames had subsided which interrupted the march of 
Julian, he beheld the melancholy face of a smoking and 
NAKED desert."^ But " the second city of the province, 
large, populous, and well fortified," in vain resisted a 
fierce and desperate assault ; and a large breach having 
been made by a battering-ram in the walls, "the soldiers 
of Julian rushed impetuously into the town, and after the 
full gratification of every military appetite, Perisabor 
was REDUCED TO ASHES ; and the engines which assaulted 

1 Gibbon, vol. i. c. viii. p. 33.3. 

2 Ibid. vol. iv. c. xxiv. pp. 169, 185. 

3 Ibid. vol. iv. c. xxiv. pp. 191, 192. 


the citadel were planted on the ruins of the smoking 
houses.^'*^ When, in after ages, the Romans, under He- 
raclius, penetrated to the royal seat of Destagered, and 
spread over Chaldea to the gates of Ctesiphon, " what- 
ever could not be easily transported, they consumed with 
fire, that Chosroes might feel the anguish of those 
wounds which he had so often inflicted on the provinces 
of the empire ; and justice might allow the excuse," 
says Gibbon, " if the desolation had been confined to 
the works of regal luxury ; if national hatred, military 
license, and religious zeal, had not wasted with equal 
rage the habitations and the temples of the guiltless sub- 
jects."* The fierce Abassides, proverbially reckless of 
committing murder, which was the very work that their 
missionaries went forth to execute, long reigned over 
Chaldea; and Bagdad, its new capital, distant about 
fifteen miles from Seleucia and Ctesiphon, was their 
imperial seat for five hundred years. ^ " Their daggers, 
their only arms, were broken by the sword of Holagou, 
and except the word assassin, not a vestige is left of the 
enemies of mankind ;"^ for again and again has it proved 
true of the land of Chaldea — / will destroy the sinners 
thereof out of it. The Mogul Tartars succeeded as the 
guilty possessors and cruel desolators of tJie land of Ba- 
bylon. " Bagdad, after a siege of two months, was 
stormed and sacked by the Moguls, under Holagou 
Khan, the grandson of Ghengis Khan."* And Tamer- 
lane, another great king, " reduced to his obedience the 
whole course of the Tigris and Euphrates, from the 
mouth to the sources of these rivers ; and he erected on 
the ruins of Bagdad a pyramid of ninety thousand 
heads."^ Finally, not with abated, but, if possible, with 
increasing, or with more persevering cruelty, the Turks, 
aided by Saracens, Kurds, and Tartars, have become 

J Gibbon, vol. iv. c. xxiv. p. 170. 

2 Ibid. vol. viii. c. xlvi. p. 253. » Ibid. vol. x. c. lii. p. 35. 

4 Ibid. vol. xi. ch. Ixiv. p. 417. 

5 Ibid. vol. xi. ch. Ixiv. p. 418. 

* Ibid. vol. cii. c. Ixv. pp. 9 — 24. 


the weapons of tJie indignation of the Lord, brought forth 
out of his armoury which he hath opened ; for — fearful as 
a token of judgment, and clear as the testimony of truth 
— this is the work of the Lord God of Hosts in the land 
of the Chaldeans. — Waste and utterly destroy after them. 
Ji sword is upon the Chaldeans. A sound of battle is in 
the land, and of great destruction. I will kindle a fire 
in his CITIES, and it shall devour all round about him. 
A sound of great destruction cometh from the land of the 

And Chaldea shall he a spoil ; all that spoil her shall 
he satisfied, saith the Lord. Come against her from the 
utmost horder, open her storehouses. A sword is upon 
her treasures, and they shall he rohhed. thou that 
dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine 
end is come, and the measure of thy covetousness. On 
taking Babylon suddenly and by surprise, Cyrus became 
immediately possessed of tlie treasures of darkness, and 
hidden ricJies of secret places. On his first publicly ap- 
pearing in Babylon, all the officers of his army, both of 
the Persians and allies, according to his command, wore 
very splendid robes, those belonging to the superior 
officers being of various colours, all of the finest and 
brightest dye, and richly embroidered with gold and sil- 
ver ; and thus the hidden riclies of secret places were 
openly displayed. And when the treasures of Babylon 
became the spoil of another great king, Alexander gave 
six min(B (about 15/.)* to each Macedonian horseman, 
to each Macedonian soldier and foreign horseman two 
minse (5/.,) and to every other man in his army, a 
donation equal to two months' pay. Demetrius ordered 
his soldiers to plunder the land of Babylon for their own 
use.^ But it is not in these instances alone that Chaldea 
has been a spoil, and that all who spoil her have been 
satisfied. It was the abundance of her treasures which 
brought successive spoliators. Many nations came from 
afar, and though they returned to their own country, (as 
in formerly besieging Babylon, so in continuing to de- 
» Plutarch, Life of Demetrius. 


spoil the land of Chaldea,) none returned in vain. From 
the richness of the country new treasures were speedily 
stored up, till again the sword came upon theiUy and they 
were robbed. The prey of the Persians and of the Greeks 
for nearly two centuries after, the death of Alexander, 
Chaldea became afterwards the prey chiefly of the Par- 
thians, for an equal period, till a greater nation, the 
Romans, came from the coasts of the earth to pillage it. 
To be restrained from dominion and from plunder, was 
the exciting cause, and often the shameless plea, of the 
anger and fierce wrath of these famed but cruel con- 
querors of the world. Yet within the provinces of their 
empire, it was their practice, on the submission of the 
inhabitants, to protect and not to destroy. But Chaldea, 
from its extreme distance, never having yielded penna- 
nently to their yoke, and the limits of their empire having 
been fixed by Hadrian on the western side of the Eu- 
phrates, or on the very borders of Chaldea, that hapless 
country obtained not their protection, though repeatedly 
the scene of ruthless spoliation by the Romans. The 
authority of Gibbon, in elucidation of Scripture, cannot 
be here distrusted any more than that of heathen histo- 
rians. To use his words, " a hundred thousand cap- 
tives, and a rich booty, rewarded the fatigues of the 
Roman soldiers,"* when Ctesiphon was taken, in the 
second century, by the generals of Marcus. Even 
Julian, who, in the fourth century, was forced to raise 
the siege of Ctesiphon, came not in vain to Chaldea, and 
failed not to talce of it a spoil ; nor, though an apostate, 
did he fail to verify by his acts the truth which he de- 
nied. After having given Perisabor to the flames, " the 
plentiful magazines of com, of arms, and of splendid fur- 
niture, were partly distributed among the troops, and 
partly reserved for the public service ; the useless stores 
were destroyed by fire, or thrown into the streams of the 
Euphrates."^ Having also rewarded his army with a 
hundred pieces of silver to each soldier, he thus stimulated 

' Gibbon, vol. i. ch. viii. p. 334. 
2 Ibid. vol. iv. ch. xxiv. p. 171. 


ihem (when still dissatisfied) to fight for greater spoil — 
" Riches are the object of your desires ; those riches are 
in the hands of the Persians ; and the spoils of this fruit- 
ful country are proposed as the prize of your valour and 
discipline."^ The enemy being defeated after an arduous 
conflict, " the spoil was such as might be expected from 
the riches and luxury of an oriental camp ; large quanti- 
ties oj^ silver and gold y splendid arms and trappings, and 
beds and tables of massy silver."^ 

When the Romans, under Heraclius, ravaged Chal- 
dea, " though much of the treasure had been removed 
from Dastagered, and much had been expended, the re- 
maining wealth appears to have exceeded their hopes, and 
even to have satiated their avarice."^ 

While the deeds of Juhan and the words of Gibbon 
show how Chaldea was spoiled — how a sword continued 
to be on her treasures — and how, year after year^ and 
age after age, there was rumour on rumour, and violence 
in her land, and that all that spoil her would he satisfied 
— more full illustrations remain to be given of the truth 
of the same prophetic word. And as a painter of great 
power may cope with another, by drawing as closely to 
the life as he, though the features be different, so Gib- 
bon's description of the sack of Ctesiphon, as previously 
he had described the sack and conflagration of Seleucia, 
(cities, each of which may aptly be called " the daughter 
of Babylon," having been, like it, the capital of Chal- 
dea,) is written as if, by the most graphic representation 
of facts, he had been aspiring to rival Volney as an illus- 
trator of Scripture prophecy. " The capital was taken 
by assault ; and the disorderly resistance of the people 
gave a keener edge to the sabres of the Moslems, who 
shouted with religious transport, * This is the white 
palace of Chosroes ; this is the promise of the apostle of 
God.' The naked robbers of the desert were suddenly 
enriched beyond the measure of their hope or knowledge. 
Each chamber revealed a new treasure, secreted with art, 

' Gibbon, vol. iv. ch. xxiv. p. 176. 2 ibid. vol. iv. c. xxiv. p. 184. 
3 Ibid. vol. viii. c. xlvi. p. 352. 



or ostentatiously displayed ; the gold and silver, the 
various wardrobes and precious furniture, surpassed 
(says Abulfeda) the estimate of fancy or numbers ; and 
another historian defines the untold and almost infinite 
mass by the fabulous computation of three thousands of 
thousands of thousands of pieces of gold. One of the 
apartments of the palace was decorated with a carpet of 
silk sixty cubits in length, and as many in breadth, (90 
feet ;) a paradise, or garden, was depicted on the 
ground ; the flowers, fruits, and shrubs were imitated by 
the figures of the gold embroidery, and the colours of the 
precious stones ; and the ample square was encircled by 
a variegated and verdant border. The rigid Omar di- 
vided the pnze ■Amowg his brethren of Medina ; the picture 
was destroyed ; but such was the intrinsic value of the 
materials, that the share of Ali alone was sold for 20,000 
drachms. A mule that carried away the tiara and cuirass, 
the belt and bracelets of Chosroes, was overtaken by the 
pursuers ; the gorgeous trophy was presented to the 
commander of the faithful, and the gravest of the com- 
panions condescended to smile when they beheld the 
white beard, hairy arms, and uncouth figure of the 
veteran who was invested with the spoil of the great 

Recent evidence is not wanting to show, that, wher- 
ever a treasure is to be found, a sword, in the hand of a 
fierce enemy, is upon it, and spoliation has not ceased 
in the land of Chaldea. 

" On the west of Hillah, there are two towns, which, 
in the eyes of the Persians and all the Shiites, are ren- 
dered sacred by the memory of two of the greatest mar- 
tyrs of that sect. These are Meshed Ali and Meshed 
Housein, IdXeiy filled with riches, accumulated by the de- 
votion of the Persians, but carried off by the ferocious 
Wahabees to the middle of their deserts."^ 

And, after the incessant spoliation of ages, now that 

' Gibbon, vol. ix. ch. li. pp. 370, 371. 

2 Malte-Brun's Geog. vol. ii. p. 119; Buckingham's Travels in 
Mesopotamia, vol. ii. p. 246. 


the end is cmne of the treasures of Chaldea, the earth 
itself fails not to disclose its hidden treasures^ so as to 
testify that they once were abundant. In proof of this 
an instance may be given. At the ruins of Hoomania, 
near to those of Ctesiphon, pieces of silver having (on 
the 5th of March, 1812) been accidentally discovered, 
edging out of the bank of the Tigris, " on examination, 
there were found and brought away," by persons sent 
for that purpose by the pasha of Bagdad's officers, " be- 
tween six and seven hundred ingots of silver, each mea- 
suring from one to one and a half feet in length ; and an 
earthen jar, containing upwards of two thousand Athe- 
nian coins, all of silver. Many were purchased at the 
time by the late Mr. Rich, formerly the East India Com- 
pany's resident at Bagdad, and are now in his valuable 
collection, since bought by government, and deposited 
in the British Museum."^ Amidst the ruins of Ctesi- 
phon, " the natives often pick up coins of gold, silver, 
and copper, for which they always find a ready sale in 
Bagdad. Indeed, some of the wealthy Turks and Ar- 
menians, who are collecting for several French and Ger- 
man consuls, hire people to go and search for coins, 
medals, and antique gems ; and I am assured they never 
return to their employers empty-handed ;"^ — as if all 
who spoil Chaldea shall he satisfied^ till even the ruins 
be spoiled unto the uttermost. 

The past history of the land of the Chaldeans may be 
briefly closed in the language of prophecy ; for the pro- 
phets, in their visions, saw it as it is ; although histo- 
rians knew not, even after its grandeur was partially 
gone, how to tell of its fertility, which they witnessed, 
and hope to be believed. Those who recorded the 
word that the Lord spake against Babylon, and against 
the land of the Chaldeans, had no such fear, though two 
thousand four hundred years have elapsed since they de- 
scribed what is now only at last to be seen. 

/ will punish the land of the Chaldeans, and will make 
it perpetual desolations : cut of t/ie sower from Babylon, 

' Captain Mignan's Travels, p. 53. 2 jbid. p. 74, 


and him that handleth the sickle in tlie tirne of harvest. 
A drought is on tlie waters, and tliey shall he dried up. 
Belwld the hindermost of the nations, a dry land and a 
desert. Her cities are a desolation, a di-y land and a 
wilderness, a land where no man dwelleth, neither doth 
son of man pass thereby. I will send unto Babylon fan- 
ners that shall fan fier, and empty her land. The land 
shall tremble and sorrow ; for every purpose of the Lord 
shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of 
Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant. 

The land of the Chaldeans was to be made perpetual 
or long-continued desolations. Ravaged and spoiled for 
ages, the Chaldees' excellency finally disappeared, and 
the land became desolate, as still it remains. Rauwolff, 
who passed through it in 1574, describes the country as 
bare, and " so dry and barren that it cannot be tilled."' 
And the most recent travellers all concur in describing 
it in similar terms. 

The land of Babylon was to be fanned and emptied — 
to be a dry land, a wilderness, and a desert, &c. — On the 
one side, near to the site of Opis, " the country all around 
appears to be one wide desert of sandy and barren soil, 
thinly scattered over with brushwood and tufts of reedy 
grass "^ On the other, between Bussorah and Bagdad, 
" immediately on either bank of the Tigris, is the un- 
trodden desert. The absence of all cultivation, — the 
sterile, arid, and wild character of the whole scene, 
formed a contrast to the rich and delightful accounts de- 
lineated in Scripture. The natives, in travelling over 
these pathless deserts, are compelled to explore their way 
by the stars."^ " The face of the country is open and 
flat, presenting to the eye one vast level plain, where 
nothing is to be seen but here and there a herd of half- 
wild camels. This immense tract is very rarely diversi- 
fied with any trees of moderate growth, but is an im- 

1 Rauwolflf's Travels, in Ray's Collection of Travels, 1693, 
p. 164. 

2 Buckingham's Travels in Mesopotamia, vol. ii. p. 156. 
^ Mignan's Travels, p. 5. 


mense wild bounded only by the horizon."^ In the 
intermediate region, " the whole extent from the foot of 
the wall of Bagdad is a barren waste, without a blade 
of vegetation of any description;" on leaving the gates, 
the traveller has before him " the prospect of a bare 
desert, a flat and barren country. . . . The whole country 
between Bagdad and Hillah is a perfectly flat and (with 
the exception of a few spots as you approach the latter 
place) uncultivated waste.^''^ " That it was at some for- 
mer period in a far different state, is evident from the 
number of canals by which it is traversed, now dry and 
neglected ; and the quantity of heaps of earth covered 
with fragments of brick and broken tiles, which are seen 
in every direction, — the indisputable traces of former 
population. At present the only inhabitants of the tract 
are the Sobeide Arabs. "^ ^'Around, as far as the eye 
can reach, is a trackless desert. '^'^^ " The abundance of 
the country has vanished as clean away as if the ^ besom 
of desolation' had swept it from north to south; the whole 
land, from the outskirts of Babylon to the farthest stretch 
of sight, lying a melancholy waste. JYot a habitable spot 
appears for countless miles."* The land of Babylon is 
desolate without an inhabitant. The Arabs traverse it ; 
and every man met with in the desert is looked on as an 
enemy. Wild beasts have now their home in the land 
of Chaldea ; but the traveller is less afraid of them, — 
even of the lion, — than of "the wilder animal, the desert 
Arab." The country is frequently " totally impassable." 
" Those splendid accounts of the Babylonian lands, 
yielding crops of grain two or three hundredfold, com- 
pared with the modern face of the country, afford a re- 
markable proof of the singular desolation to which it 

1 Mignan's Travels, pp. 31, 32; Keppel's Nar. vol. i. p. 260; 
Buckingham's Travels, p. 242 ; Kinneir's Memoir of Persia, 
p. 279. 

2 Rich's Memoir, p. 4. 

3 Transactions of the Literary Society at Bombay, vol. i. pp. 
123, 138 ; Captain Frederick on the State of Babylon. 

4 Keppel's Nar. p. 87. 

» Sir R. K. Porter's Travels in Babylonia, «fec., /ol. ii. p. 285. 


has been subjected. The canals at present can only be 
traced by their decayed banks."* 

" The soil of this desert," says Captain Mignan, who 
traversed it on foot, and who, in a single day, crossed 
forty ancient water-courses, " consists of a hard clay, 
mixed with sand, which at noon becomes so heated with 
the sun's rays, that I found it too hot to walk over it 
with any degree of comfort. Those who have crossed 
those desert wilds, are already acquainted with their 
dreary tediousness even on horseback : what it is on foot 
they can easily imagine."" 

Where astronomers first registered eclipses, and marked 
the motions of the planetary bodies, the natives, as in 
the deserts of Africa, or as the mariner without a com- 
pass on the pathless ocean, can now direct their course 
only by the stars, over the pathless desert of Chaldea. 
Where cultivation reached its utmost height, and where 
tvvo hundredfold was stated as the common produce, 
there is now one wide and uncultivated waste ; and the 
sower and reaper are cut off from the land of Babylon,, 
Where abundant stores and treasures were laid up, and 
annually renewed and increased, fanners have fanned^ 
and spoilers have spoiled them till they have emptied the 
land. Where labourers, shaded by palm-trees a hundred 
feet high, irrigated the fields till all was plentifully wa- 
tered from numerous canals, the wanderer, without an 
object on which to fix his eye, but " stinted and short- 
lived shrubs," can scarcely set his foot without pain, 
after the noonday heat, on the " arid and parched 
ground," in plodding his weary way through a desert, 
a dry land, and a wilderness. Where there w^ere crowded 
thoroughfares from city to city, there is now " silence 
and solitude ;" for the ancient cities of Chaldea are deso' 
lotions, — wJiere no man dwelleth, n£ither doth any son of 
man pass thereby.^ 

« Mignan's Travels, p. 2. 2 ibjd. pp. 2, 31—34. 

' Sin has wrought desolation in Chaldea, as, finally, if unre- 
pented of, it must in any and in every land. But justice shall yet 1 
dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful 


Her cities are desolations. The course of the Tigris 
through Babylonia, instead of being adorned, as of old, 
with cities and towns, is marked with the sites of " an- 
cient ruins. "^ Sitace, Sabata, Narisa, Fuchera, Sendia, 
"no longer exist."^ A succession of longitudinal 
mounds, crossed at right angles by others, mark the sup- 
posed site of Artemita, or Destagered. Its once luxu- 
riant gardens are covered with grass; and a higher 
mound distinguishes " the royal residence" from the 
ancient streets.^ Extensive ridges and mounds (near to 
field : and — not in Judea alone, on the restoration and conversion 
of all the house of Israel, but throughout all nations when en- 
lightened by the word of God, and renewed by his Spirit, moved 
by whom the prophets spake, — the work of righteousness shall be 
peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance 
forever. (Isa. xxxii. 15 — 17.) And it is pleasing to pause for a 
moment, and to turn from the direful retrospect of sin, judgment, 
and desolation, which the past history of Chaldea holds up to 
view, to a word of Scripture, (one word, if rightly interpreted, is 
enough,) which, like a bright star in the east, shines as the har- 
binger of a brighter day, after the long night of darkness which 
has rested on that land which was full of wickedness, and there- 
fore has been emptied in judgment. And seemingly commencing 
convulsions, in the war and the trial of principles, throughout the 
wide world, that must come — the rising " hurricane" which, con- 
trolled by the Lord, shall yet sweep every moral " pestilence" from 
the earth, seem, in their beginning, to betoken that the time may 
not be distant, when the effect of the vision shall be seen. Then 
said I to the angel that talked with me, (Zechariah v. 10, 11,) whither 
do these bear the ephah ? And he said unto me, To build it an house in 
the land of Shinar ; and it shall be established, and set there on its own 
base, — in the land of Shinar, but it is not said, in the city of Baby- 
lon. Building, establishing, and setting, all appear to be significa- 
tive of blessing — of reconstruction on a new base, and not reduci- 
ble to heaps: and though the previous vision be of judgment, he 
whose name is The Branch, is immediately after spoken of; and, 
in " building the temple of the Lord," his office is redemption. But, 
without a metaphor, it is said, — and, without a doubt, it shall prove 
true, — All the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of the 
Lord. The whole earth shall rejoice, — the wilderness and the soli- 
tary places shall be glad for them ; and the desert shall rejoice, and 
blossom as the rose. 

' See Chart prefixed to Major Keppel's Narrative. 

2 Plan of the Environs of Babylon, &c., in Major Kennel's Geo 
graphy of Herodotus, p. 335. 

3 Keppel's Narrative, vol. i. p. 267. 


Houmania,) varying in height and extent, are seen 
branching in every direction.''^ A wall, with sixteen 
bastions, is the onl^ memorial of Apollonia.^ The once 
magnificent Seleucia is now a scene of desolation. There 
is not a single building, but th^ country is strewed for 
miles with fragments of decayed buildings. " As far," 
says Major Keppel, " as the eye could reach, the horizon 
presented a broken line of mounds ; the whole of this 
place was a desert flat."^ On the opposite bank of the 
Tigris, where Ctesiphon its rival stood, besides fragments 
of walls and broken masses of brick- work, and remains 
of vast structures encumbered with heaps of earth, there 
is one magnificent monument of antiquity, " in a re- 
markably perfect state of preservation," " a large and 
noble pile of building, the front of which presents to 
view a wall three hundred feet in length, adorned with 
four rows of arched recesses, with a central arch, in span 
eighty-six feet, and above an hundred feet high, sup- 
ported by walls sixteen feet thick, and leading to a hall 
which extends to the depth of one hundred and fifty-six 
feet," the width of the building.* A great part of the 
back w^all and of the roof is broken down ; but that 
which remains " still appears much larger than Westmin- 
ster Abbey. "^ It is supposed to have been the lofty 
palace of Chosroes ; but there desolation now reigns. 
" On the site of Ctesiphon, the smallest insect under 
heaven would not find a single blade of grass wherein 
to hide itself, nor one drop of water to allay its thirst."" 
In the rear of the palace, and attached to it, are mounds 
two miles in circumference, indicating the utter desola- 
tion of buildings, formed to minister to luxury. But, in 
the words of Captain Mi^nan, " such is the extent of the 
irregular mounds and hillocks that overspread the sites 
of these renowned cities, that it would occupy some 

' Mignan's Travels, p. 49. 2 Keppel, p. 276. 

3 Keppel's Narrative, p. 125. ♦ Ibid. p. 130. 

5 Mignan's Travels, p. 79. 
* Buckingham, p. 441. 


months to take the bearings and dimensions of each with 

While the ancient cities of Chaldea are thus desolate, 
the sites of others cannot be discovered, or have not been 
visited, as none pass thereby ; the more modern cities, 
which flourished under the empire of the Cahfs, " are all 
in ruins."- The second Bagdad has not indeed yet 
shared the fate of the first. And Hillah — a town of 
comparatively modern date, near to the site of Babylon, 
but in the gardens of which there is not the least vestige 
of ruins — yet exists. But the former, " ransacked by 
massacre, devastation, and oppression, during several 
hundred years," has been " gradually reduced from being 
a rich and powerful city, to a state of comparative po- 
verty, and the feeblest means of defence."^ And of the 
inhabitants of the latter, about eight or ten thousand, it 
is said that if any thing could identify the modern inha- 
bitants of Hillah as the descendants of the ancient Baby- 
lonians, it would be their extreme profligacy, for which 
they are notorious even amongst their immoral neigh- 
bours."'* They give no sign of repentance and reforma- 
tion to warrant the hope that judgment, so long continued 
upon others, will cease from them ; or that they are the 
people that shall escape. Twenty years have not passed 
since towns in Chaldea have been ravaged and pillaged 
by the Wahabees ; and so lately as 1823, the town of 
Shehreban " was sacked and ruined by the Kurds," 
and reduced to desolation.^ Indications of ruined cities, 
whether of a remote or more recent period, abound 
throughout the land. The process of destruction is still 
completing. Gardens which studded the banks of the 
Tigris have very recently disappeared, and mingled with 
the desert; and concerning the cities also of Chaldea, 
the word is true that they are desolations. For " the 
whole country is strewed over with the debris of Gre* 

1 Mignan's Travels, p. 81. 2 Mignan's Travels,?. 82. 

3 Sir R. K. Porter's Travels, vol. ii. pp. 265, 266. 

4 Keppel's Narrative, vol. i. pp. 182, 183. 
^ Ibid. pp. 272, 278. 


cian, Roman, and Arabian towns, confounded in the 
same mass of rubbish."^ 

But while these lie in indiscriminate ruins, the chief 
of the cities of Chaldea, the first in name and in power 
that ever existed in the world,, bears many a defined 
mark of the judgments of Heaven. 


The progressive and predicted decline of Babylon the 
Great, till it ceased to be a city, has already been briefly 
detailed. About the beginning of the Christian era a 
small portion of it was inhabited, and the far greater part 
was cultivated.^ It diminished as Seleucia increased, 
and the latter became the greater city. In the second 
century nothing but the walls remained. It became gra- 
dually a great desert; and, in the fourth century, its 
walls, repaired for that purpose, formed an enclosure for 
wild beasts, and Babylon was converted into a field for 
the chase — a hunting-place for the pastime of the Per- 
sian monarchs. The name and the remnant were cut 
off' from Babylon ; and there is a blank, during the in- 
terval of many ages, in the history of its mutilated 
remains and of its mouldering decay. It remained long 
in the possession of the Saracens ; and abundant evi- 
dence has since been given, that every feature of its 
prophesied desolation is now distinctly visible, for the 
most ancient historians bore not a clearer testimony to 
facts confirmatory of the prophecies relative to its first 
siege and capture by Cyrus, than the latest travellers 
bear to the fulfilment of those which refer to its final and 
permanent ruin. The identity of its site has been com- 
pletely established.^ And the truth of every general 
and every particular prediction is now so clearly demon- 
strated, that a simple exhibition of the facts precludes 

• Malte-Brun's Geography, vol. ii. p. 119. 

2 Died. Sic. torn. ii. p. 35. 

3 Rennell's Geography of Herodotus, p. 349 ; Keppel's Narra- 
tive, p. 171. 


the possibility of any cavil, and supersedes the necessity 
of any reasoning on the subject. 

It is not merely the general desolation of Babylon — 
however much that alone would have surpassed all 
human foresight — which the Lord declared by the mouth 
of his prophets. In their vision, they saw not more 
clearly, nor defined more precisely, the future history of 
Babylon, from the height of its glory to the oblivion of 
its name, than they saw and depicted fallen Babylon as 
now it lies, and as, in the nineteenth century of the 
Christian era, it has, for the first time, been fully de- 
scribed.* And now, when aii end has come upon Babylon, 
after a long succession of ages has wrought out its utter 
desolation, both the pen and the pencil of travellers, who 
have traversed and inspected its ruins, must be com- 
bined, in order to delineate what the word of God, by 
the prophets, told from the beginning that that end 
would be. 

Truth ever scorns the discordant and encumbering aid 
of error : but to diverge in the least from the most pre- 
cise facts, would here weaken and destroy the argument ; 
for the predictions correspond not closely with any thing, 
except alone with the express and literal reality. To 
swerve from it is, in the same degree, to vary from 
them : and any misrepresentation would be no less hurt- 
ful than iniquitous. But the actual fact renders any 
exaggeration impossible, and any fiction poor. Fancy 
could not have feigned a contrast more complete, nor a 
destruction greater than that which has come from the 
Almighty upon Babylon. And though the greatest city 
on which the sun ever shone is now a desolate wilder- 
ness, there is scarcely any spot on earth more clearly 
defined — and none could be more accurately delineated 
by the hands of a draftsman — than the scene of Baby- 
1 Niebuhr, Ives, Irwin, Ottar, Evirs, Thevenot, Delia Valle, 
Texeira, Edrisi, Abulfeda, and Balbi, were consulted by Major 
Rennell ; to these may now be added, Mr. Rich, Sir Robert Ker 
Porter, Captain Frederick, the Hon. Major Keppel, Colonel Ken- 
neir, Mr. Buckingham, and Captain Mignan, — most of whom were 
accompanied by others. 


Ion's desolation is set before us in the very words of the 
prophets ; and no words could now be chosen like unto 
those, which for two thousand five hundred years have 
been its " burden" — the burden which now it bears. 

Such is the multiplicity of prophecies and the accu- 
mulation of facts, that the very abundance of evidence 
increases the difficulty of arranging them, in a condensed 
form, and thus appropriating its specific fulfiknent to 
each precise and separate prediction ; and many of them 
may be viewed connectedly. All who have visited 
Babylon concur in acknowledging or testifying that the 
desolation is exactly such as was foretold. They, in 
general, apply the more prominent predictions ; and, in 
minute details, they sometimes unconsciously adopt, with- 
out any allusion or reference, the words of inspiration. 

Babylon is wholly desolate. It has ,become heaps ; 
it is cut down to the ground ; brought down to the 
grave ; trodden on ; uninhabited ; its foundations fallen ; 
its walls thrown down, and utterly broken ; its loftiest 
edifices rolled down from the rocks ; the golden city has 
ceased ; the worms are spread under it, and the worms 
cover it, .&c. There the Arabian pitches not his tent ; 
there the shepherds make not their folds ; but wild beasts 
of the desert lie there, and their houses are full of dole- 
ful creatures, and owls dwell there, &c. It is a posses- 
sion for the bittern, and a dwelling-place for dragons ; a 
wilderness, a dry land and a desert ; a burnt mountain ; 
pools of water ; spoiled ; empty ; nothing left ; utterly 
destroyed ; every one that goeth by it is astonished, &c. 
&c. &c. 

Babylon shall become heaps. Babylon, the glory of 
kingdoms, is now the greatest of ruins, " Immense 
tumuli of temples, palaces, and human habitations of 
every description," are everywhere seen, and form 
^* long and varied lines of ruins," which in some places, 
" rather resemble natural hills than mounds which cover 
the remains of great and splendid edifices."^ Those 
buildings which were once the labour of slaves and the 
> Porter's Travels, vol. ii. pp. 294, 297. 


pride of kings, are now misshapen heaps of rubbish. 
" The whole face of the country is covered with vestiges 
of building, in some places consisting of brick walls 
surprisingly fresh, in others, merely a vast succession of 
mounds of rubbish, of such indeterminate figures, variety 
and extent, as to involve the person who should have 
formed any theory, in inextricable confusion."^ " Long 
mounds running from north to south, are crossed by 
others from east to west ;" and are only distinguished 
by their form, direction, and number, from the decayed 
banks of canals. " The greater part of the mounds are 
certainly the remains of buildings, originally disposed in 
streets, and crossing each other at right angles."^ The 
more distinct and prominent of these " heaps" are 
double, or lie in parallel lines, each exceeding twenty 
feet, and " are intersected by cross passages, in such a 
manner as to place beyond a doubt the fact of their being 
rows of houses or streets fallen to decay. "^ Such was 
the form of the streets of Babylon, leading towards the 
gates ; and such are now the lines of its heaps. " There 
are also, in some places, two hollow channels, and three 
mounds, running parallel to each other for a considerable 
distance, the central mound being, in such cases, a 
broader and flatter mass than the other two, as if there 
had been two streets going parallel to each other, the 
central range of houses which divided them being twice 
the size of the others, from their being double residences, 
with a front and door of entrance to face each avenue."^ 
" Irregular hillocks and mounds, ybrmec^ over masses of 
ruins, present at every step memorials of the past."^ 

From the temple of Belus and the two royal palaces, 
to the streets of the city and single dwellings, all have 
become heaps ; and the only difference or gradation now 
is from the vast and solid masses of ruins which look 
like mountains, to the slight mound that is scarcely ele- 

1 Rich's Memoir, p. 2. 

2 Buckingham's Travels in Mesopotamia, vol. ii. p. 298. 

3 Ibid. p. 299. 4 Ibid. 
6 Mignan's Travels, vol. ii. p. 116. 



vated above the plain. Babylon is fallen^ literally 
FALLEN to such a degree that those who stand on its 
site and look on numerous parallel mounds, with a hol- 
low space between, are sometimes at a loss to distinguish 
between the remains of a streej; or a canal, or to tell 
where the crowds frequented or where the waters flowed. 
Babylon is fallen ^ till its ruins cannot fall lower than they 
lie. It is cut down to the ground. Her foundations are 
fallen; and the ruins rest not on them. Its palaces, 
temples, streets and houses, lie " buried in shapeless 
heaps."^ And "the view of Babylon," as taken from 
the spot, is truly a picture of utter desolation, presenting 
its heaps to the eye, and showing how, as if literally 
buried under them, Babylon is brought down to tlw grave. 

Cast her up as heaps. Mr. Rich, in describing a grand 
heap of ruins, the shape of which is nearly a square of 
seven hundred yards in length and breadth, states that 
the workmen pierce into it in every direction, in search 
of bricks, " hollowing out deep ravines and pits, and 
throwing up the rubbish in heaps on the surface."* 
" The summit of the Kasr," (supposed to have been the 
lesser palace,) is in like manner " covered with heaps of 

Let nothing of her be left. " Vast heaps constitute all 
that now remains of ancient Babylon."^ All its grand- 
eur is departed ; all its treasures have been spoiled ; all 
its excellence has utterly vanished ; the very heaps are 
searched for bricks when nothing else can be found; 
even these are not left wherever they can be taken 
away, and Babylon has for ages been " a quarry above 
ground," ready to the hand of every successive de- 
spoiler. Without the most remote allusion to this pro- 
phecy. Captain Mignan describes a mound attached to 
the palace, ninety yards in breadth by half that height, 
the whole of which is deeply furrowed in the same man- 
ner as the generality of the mounds. " The ground is 
extremely soft, and tiresome to walk over, and appears 

' Porter's Travels, p. 294. 2 Rich's Memoir, p. 32 

3 Keppel's Narrative, p. 196. 


completely exhausted of all its building materials : nothing 
now is left save one towering hill, the earth of which is 
mixed ^f^iih. fragments of broken brick, red varnished pot- 
tery, tile, bitumen, mortar, glass, shells, and pieces of 
mother of pearl, "^ — w^orthless fragments, of no value to the 
poorest. From tJience shall she he taken — let nothing of 
her be left. One traveller, towards the end of last cen- 
tury, passed over the site of ancient Babylon, without 
being conscious of having traversed it.^ 

Babylon shall be pools of water. While the workmen 
cast her up as heaps in piling up the rubbish while ex- 
cavating for bricks, that they may take thevcifrom thence, 
and that nothing may be left; they labour more than 
trebly in the fulfilment of prophecy, for the numerous 
and deep excavations form pools of water on the over- 
flowing of the Euphrates, and, annually filled, they are 
not dried up throughout the year. Deep cavities are 
also formed by the Arabs, when digging for hidden 
treasure."^ " The ground is sometimes covered with 
pools of water in the hollows."'' 

Sit on the dust, sit on the ground, daughter of the 
Chaldeans. The surface of the mounds, which form all 
that remains of Babylon, consists of decomposed build 
ings, reduced to dust ; and over all the ancient streets 
and habitations, there is literally nothing but the dust or 
the ground on which to sit. 

Thy nakedness shall be uncovered. " Our path," says 
Captain Mignan, " lay through the great mass of ruined 
heaps on the site of ^ shrunken Babylon.' And I am 
perfectly incapable of conveying an adequate idea of the 
dreary, lonely nakedness that appeared before me."^ 

Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness. There 
reigns throughout the ruins " a silence as profound as 

1 Mignan's Travels, pp. 199, 200. 

2 Transactions of the Literary Society at Bombay, vol. i. p. 130 ; 
Note, Cunningham's Journey to India, 1785. 

3 Mignan's Travels, p. 213. 

4 Buckingham's Travels, vol. ii. p. 296 ; Keppel's Travels, vol. i» 
p. 125. 

5 Mignan's Travels, p. 116. 


the grave."* Babylon is now a " silent scene, a sublime 

It shall never be inhabited, nor dwelt in from genera' 
fion to generation. From Rauwolff's testimony it ap- 
pears that in the sixteenth c^tury " there was not a 
house to be seen."^ And now " the eye wanders over 
a barren desert, in which the ruins are nearly the only 
indication that it ever had been inhabited." " It is im- 
possible," adds Major Keppel, " to behold this scene 
and not to be reminded how exactly the predictions of 
Isaiah and Jeremiah have been fulfilled, even in the ap- 
pearance Babylon was doomed to present, that slie should 
never be inhabited; that the ^Arabian should not pitch 
his tent there ;' that she should * become heaps ;' that 
her cities should be * a desolation, a dry land, and a wil- 
derness.' "'* " Babylon is spurned alike by the heel of 
the Ottomans, the Israelites, and the sons of Ishmael."* 
It is "a tenantless and desolate metropolis."^ It shall 
not be inhabited, but be wholly desolate. 

JSTeither shall the .Arabian pitch tent t/iere ; neither shall 
the shepherds maJce their folds there. It was prophesied 
of Ammon that it should be a stable for camels and a 
couching-place for flocks ; and of Philistia, that it should 
be cottages for shepherds, and a pasture for flocks. But 
Babylon was to be visited with a far greater desolation, 
and to become unfit or unsuiting even for such a pur- 
pose. And that neither a tent would be pitched there, 
even by an Arab, nor a fold made by a shepherd, im- 
plies the last degree of solitude and desolation. " It is 
common in these parts for shepherds to make use of 
ruined edifices to shelter their flocks in."^ But Babylon 
is an exception. Instead of taking the bricksyVom thence, 
the shepherd might with facility erect a defence from wild 
beasts, and make a fold for his flock amidst the heaps of 
Babylon ; and the Arab who fearlessly traverses it by 

I Porter's Travels, vol. ii. p. 294. 2 ibid. p. 407. 

3 Ibid. p. 174. 

* Keppel's Narrative, vol. i. p. 107. s Mignan's Travels, p. 108 

e Ibid. p. 234. 7 Ibid. p. 2.35 

S 3] 


day, might pitch his tent by night. But neither the one 
nor the other could now be persuaded to remain a single 
night among the ruins. The superstitious dread of evil 
spirits, far more than the natural terror of the wild beasts, 
effectually prevents them. Captain Mignan was accom- 
panied by six Arabs, completely armed, but he " could 
not induce them to remain towards night, from the ap- 
prehension of evil spirits. It is impossible to eradicate 
this idea from the minds of these people, who are very 
deeply imbued with superstition." And when the sun 
sunk behind the Mujelibe, and the moon would have 
still lighted his way among the ruins, it was with infinite 
regret that he obeyed " the summons of his guides. ^"^^ 
^^All the people oftlie country assert that it is extremely 
dangerous to approach this mound after night-fall, on 
account of the multitude of evil spirits by which it is 
haunted."^ JYeither shall the Arabian pitch tent there, 
neither shall the shepherds make their folds there. But 

Wild beasts of the desert shall lie there, and tlieir houses 
shall be full of doleful creatures ; and owls shall dwell 
tliere, and satyrs (goats) shall dance there, &c. " There 
are many dens of wild beasts in various parts. There 
are quantities of porcupine quills." (kephud?) And 
while the lower excavations are often pools of water, 
" in most of the cavities are numbers of bats and owls.^''^ 
" These souterrains, (caverns,) over which the chambers 
of majesty may have been spread, are now the refuge of 
jackals and other savage animals. The mouths of their 
entrances are strewed with the bones of sheep and goats ; 
and the loathsome smell that issues from most of them is 
suflScient warning not to proceed into the den."^ The 
king of the forest now ranges over the site of that Baby- 
lon which Nebuchadnezzar built for his own glory. And 
the temple of Belus, the greatest work of man, is now 
like unto a natural den of lions. " Two or three majes- 

1 Mignan's Travels, pp. 201, 235. 

2 Rich's Mem. p. 27 ; Buckingham's Travels, vol. ii. p. 397. 

3 Ibid. p. 30. 

•^ ?ir R. K. Porter's Travels, vol. ii. p. 342. 


tic lions" were seen upon its heights, by Sir Robert Ker 
Porter, as he was approaching it ; and " the broad prints 
of their feet were left plain in the clayey soil."^ Major 
Keppel saw there a similar foot-print of a lion. It is 
also the unmolested retreat of jackals, hyenas, and other 
noxious animals.* Wild beasts are " numerous" at the 
Mujelibi, as well as on Birs JSPimrood. " The mound 
was full of large holes ; we entered some of them, and 
found them strewed with the carcasses and skeletons of 
animals recently killed. The ordure of wild beasts was 
so strong that prudence got the better of curiosity, for 
we had no doubt as to the savage nature of the inha- 
bitants. Our guides, indeed, told us that all the ruins 
abounded in lions and other wild beasts ; so literally has 
the divine prediction been fulfilled, that wild beasts of 
the desert should lie there, and their houses be full of 
doleful creatures ; that the wild beast of the islands shall 
cry in their desolate houses."^ 

The sea is cojne upon Babylmi. She is covered with the 
multitude of the waves thereof. The traces of the western 
bank of the Euphrates are now no longer discernible. 
The river overflows unrestrained ; and the very ruins, 
" with every appearance of the embankment," have been 
swept away. " The ground there is low and marshy, 
and presents not the slightest vestige of former buildings, 
of any description whatever.""* " Morasses and ponds 
tracked the ground in various parts. For a long time 
afler the general subsiding of the Euphrates, great part 
of this plain is little better than a swamp," &c.* " The 
ruins of Babylon are then inundated, so as to render many 
parts of them inaccessible, by converting the valleys 
among them into morasses."^ But while Babylon is thus 
covered with the multitude of waves and the waters come 
upon it, yet, in striking contrast and seeming contradic- 

> Sir R. K. Porter's Travels, vol. ii. p. 387. 

2 Kinneir's Memoir, p. 279. 

3 Keppel's Narrative, vol. i. pp. 179, 180. 

* Buckingham's Travels, vol. ii. p. 278. 

* Sir R. K. Porter's Travels, vol. il pp. 389, 390. 

* Rich's Memoir, p. 13. 


tion to such a feature of desolation, (like the formation 
of pools of water from the casting up of heaps,) at all 
times the elevated sun-burnt ruins, which the waters do 
not overflow, and generally throughout the year, the 
" dry waste, and parched and burning plain,"^ on which 
the heaps of Babylon lie, equally prove that it is a desert^ 
a dry land, and a wilderness. One part, even on the 
western side of the river, is " low and mar shy , and ano- 
ther an arid desert."^ 

It shall never he inhabited. It shall he utterly desolate, 
" Ruins composed, like those of Babylon, of heaps of 
rubbish impregnated with nitre, cannot be cultivated."' 
" The decomposing materials of a Babylonian structure 
doom the earth on which they perish to everlasting ste- 
rility. On this part of the plain, both where traces of 
buildings were left, and where none had stood, all seemed 
equally naked of vegetation ; the whole ground appear- 
ing as if it had been washed over and over again, by 
the coming and receding waters, till every bit of genial 
soil was swept away ; its half-clay, half-sandy surface 
being left in ridgy streaks, like what is often seen on 
the flat shores of the sea after the retreating of the tide."* 
Babylon, which in its pride did say, I shall be a lady for 
ever is no more called the lady of kingdoms, but is deso- 
late for ever. 

Bel boweth down. The temple of Belus or Baal, here 
evidently spoken of, was a stadium, or furlong, in height, 
computed by Major Rennell at five hundred, and by 
Prideaux at six hundred feet. By the lowest computa- 
tion it was higher than the greatest of the pyramids. The 
highest of the heaps which now constitute fallen Babylon, 
is the Birs Nimrood, generally supposed to have been the 
temple of Belus. The heap occupies a larger space of 
ground than that on which the temple stood, having 
spread in falling down, beyond its original base. It rests 

' Buckingham's Travels, vol. ii. pp. 302, 305. 

2 Mignan's Travels, p. 139. Plan. 

3 Rich's Memoir, p. 16. 

'' Sir R. K. Porter's Travels, vol. ii. p. 392. 


not now upon its ancient foundations, but lies upon the 
earth, an enormous mass o£ ruin. " At first sight it 
presents the appearance of a hill, with a castle at the 
top,"^ so as not only to deceive the eye in beholding it 
at a distance, or in looking on its picture ; but, " incredi- 
ble as it may seem, the ruins on the summit of it are 
actually those spoken of by P6re Emanuel, who takes 
no sort of notice of the prodigious mound on which they 
are elevated. It is almost needless to observe, that the 
whole of the mound is itself a ruin ;"=' and it is altoge- 
ther needless to add another word, to show that it is 
bowed down, as maybe seen by the sketch here inserted, 
of the comparative ancient and modern height annexed 
to the Plan of Birs Nimrood, in Sir Robert Ker Porter's 


The dotted lines 

J" - f) ■■ »^ thoto the present 


:i i^-"t ' "^ ^ 

500 feet. 

Bel is confounded. Originally constructed of eight 
successive towers, one rising above another, it is now 
consolidated into one irregular hill, presenting a different 
aspect and of different altitudes on every side, — a con- 
fused and misshapen mass. " The eastern face presents 
two stages of hill ; the first showing an elevation of 
about sixty feet, cloven in the middle into a deep ravine, 

> Mignan's Travels, p. 192. 2 Rich's Memoir, p. 37. 

3 Vol. ii. p. 323. 


and intersected in all directions by furrows channelled 
there by the descending rains of succeeding ages. The 
summit of this first stage stretches in rather a flattened 
sweep to the base of the second ascent, which springs 
out of the first in a steep and abrupt conical form, termi- 
nated on the top by a solitary standing fragment of brick- 
work, like the ruin of a tower. From the foundation 
of the whole pile to the base of this piece of ruin, mea- 
sures about two hundred feet, and from the bottom of the 
ruin to its shattered top are thirty-five feet. On the 
western side, the entire mass rises at once from the plain 
in one stupendous, though irregular, pyramidal hill, 
broken, in the slopes of its sweeping acclivities, by the 
devastations of time and rougher destruction. The 
southern and northern fronts are particularly abrupt."* 
Such, and so confounded is now the temple of Belus. 

/ will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee 
down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain. 
On the summits of the hill are " immense fragments of 
brick- work of no determinate figures, tumbled together, 
and converted into solid vitrified masses."^ " Some of 
these huge fragments measured twelve feet in height, by 
twenty-four in circumference ; and from the circumstance 
of the standing brick- work having remained in a perfect 
state, the change exhibited in these is only accountable 
from their having been exposed to the fiercest fire, or 
rather, scathed hy lightning ^^ " They are completely 
molten — a strong presumption that fire was used in the 
destruction of the tower, which in parts resembles what 
the Scriptures prophesied it should become, ^ a burnt 
mountain.' In the denunciation respecting Babylon, fire 
is particularly mentioned as an agent against it. To this 
Jeremiah evidently alludes, when he says that it should 
be, 'as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah,' on 
which cities, it is said, * the Lord rained brimstone and 
fire.' ' Her high gates shall be burned with fire, and the 
people shall labour in vain, and the folk in the fire, and 

1 Sir R. K. Porter's Travels, vol. ii. p. 310. 

2 Rich's Memoir, p. 36. 3 Mignan's Travels, p. 207. 


they shall be weary.' "* " In many of these immense 
unshapen masses, might be traced the gradual effects of 
the consuming power, which had produced so remarkable 
an appearance ; exhibiting parts burnt to that variegated 
dark hue, seen in the vitrified matter lying about in glass 
manufactories ; while, through the whole of these awful 
testimonies of the fire, (whatever fire it was !) which, 
doubtless, hurled them from their original elevation," 
{I will roll tJiee down from the rocks,) "the regular lines 
of the cement are visible, and so hardened in common 
with the bricks, that when the masses are struck they 
ring like glass. On examining the base of the standing 
wall, contiguous to these huge transmuted substances, it 
is found tolerably free from any similar changes, in short, 
quite in its original state ; hence," continues Sir Robert 
Ker Porter, " I draw the conclusion, that the consuming 
power acted from above, and that the scattered ruin fell 
from some higher point than the summit of the present 
standing fragment. The heat of the fire which produced 
such amazing effects, must have burned with the force 
of the strongest furnace ; and from the general appear- 
ance of the cleft in the wall, and these vitrified masses, 
I should be induced to attribute the catastrophe to light- 
ning from heaven. Ruins, by the explosion of any com- 
bustible matter, would have exhibited very different ap- 

" The fallen masses bear evident proof of the opera- 
tion of fire having been continued on them, as well after 
they were broken down as before, since every part of 
their surface has been so equally exposed to it, that many 
of them have acquired a rounded form, and in none can 
thf place of separation from its adjoining one be traced 
by any appearance of superior freshness, or any exemp- 
tion from the influence of the destroying flame. "^ 

The high gates of the temple of Belus, which were 
standing in the time of Herodotus, have been burnt with 

» Keppel's Narrative, pp. 194, 195. 

2 Sir Robert Ker Porter's Travels, vol. li. pp. 312, 31? 

5 Buckingham's Travels, vol. ii. p. 376. 


fire; the vitrified masses, which fell when Bel hawed 
down, rest on the top of its stupendous ruins. The hand 
of tlie Lord has been stretched upon it ; it has been rolled 
down from the rocks, and has been made a burnt moun- 
tain, — of which it was farther prophesied, 

They shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a 
stone for foundations, but thou shall be desolate for ever, 
saith the Lord. The old wastes of Zion shall be built ; 
its former desolations shall be raised up ; and Jerusalem 
shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in 
Jerusalem. But it shall not be with Bel as with Zion, 
nor with Babylon as with Jerusalem. For as the " heaps 
of rubbish, impregnated with nitre," which cover the 
site of Babylon, " cannot be cultivated,"^ so the vitrified 
masses on the summit of Birs Nimrood cannot be re- 
built. Though still they be of the hardest substance, 
and indestructible by the elements, and though once they 
formed the highest pinnacles of Belus, yet, incapable of 
being hewn into any regular form, they neither are nor 
can now be taken for a corner or for foundations. And 
the bricks on the solid fragments of wall, which rest on 
the summit, though neither scathed nor molten, are so 
firmly cemented, that, according to Mr. Rich, " it is nearly 
impossible to detach any of them whole, "^ or, as Captain 
Mignan still more forcibly states, " they are so firmly ce- 
mented, that it is utterly impossible to detach any of 
them."^ " My most violent attempts," says Sir Robert 
Ker Porter, " could not separate them ;"^ and Mr. Buck- 
ingham, in assigning reasons for lessening the wonder at 
the total disappearance of the walls at this distant period, 
and speaking of the Birs Nimrood generally, observes, 
that " the burnt bricks (the only ones sought after) which 
are found in the Mujelibe, the Kasr, and the Birs Nim- 
rood, the only three great moiiuments in which there are 
any traces of their having been used, are so difficult, in 
the two last indeed so impossible, to be extracted whole, 
from the tenacity of the cement in which they are laid, 

' Rich's Memoir, p. 16. 2 ibj^. p. 26. 

3 Mignan's Travels, p. 206. ^ Travels, vol. ii. p. 311. 


that they could never have been resorted to while any 
considerable portion of the walls existed to furnish an 
easier supply; even now, though some portion of the 
mounds on the eastern bank of the river" (the Birs is on 
tlie western side) " are occasionally dug into for bricks, 
they are not extracted without a comparatively great 
expense, and very few of them whole, in proportion 
to the great number of fragments that come up with 
them.* Around the tower there is not a single whole 
brick to be seen.^ 

These united testimonies, given without allusion to the 
prediction, afford a better than any conjectural commen- 
tary, such as previously was given without reference to 
these facts. 

While of Babylon, in general, it is said that it would 
be taken from tkence ; and while, in many places, nothing 
is left ; yet, of the burnt mountain^ which forms an accu- 
mulation of ruins enough in magnitude to build a city, 
men do not take a stone for foundations nor a stone for a 
corner. Having undergone the action of the fiercest fire, 
and being completely molten, the masses on the sum- 
mit of Bel, on which the hand of the Lord has been 
stretched, cannot be reduced into any other form or sub- 
stance, nor be built up again by the hand of man. And 
the tower of Babel, afterwards the temple of Belus, 
which witnessed the first dispersion of mankind, shall 
itself be witnessed by the latest generation, even as now 
it stands desolate for ever, — an indestructible monument 
of human pride and folly, and of divine judgment and 
truth. The greatest of the ruins, as once of the edifices 
of Babylon, is rolled down into a vast, indiscriminate, 
cloven, confounded, useless, and blasted mass, from 
which fragments might be hurled with as little injury to 
the ruined heap, as from a bare and rocky mountain's 
side. Such is the triumph of the word of the living God 
over the proudest of the temples of Baal. 

Merodach is hrolcen in pieces. Merodach was a name 

' Buckingham's Travels, vol. ii. p. 332. 
2 Porter's Travels, vol. ii. p. 329. 

Babylon. 313 

or title common to the princes and kings of Babylon, of 
which, in the brief scriptural references to their history, 
two instances are recorded, viz. Merodach-Baladan the 
son of Baladan, king of Babylon, who exercised the 
office of government, and Evil-Merodach, who lived in 
the days of Jeremiah. From Merodach being here asso- 
ciated with Bel, or the temple of Belus, and from the 
similarity of their judgments — the one bowed down and 
confounded^ and the other broken in pieces — it may rea- 
sonably be inferred that some other famous Babylonian 
building is here also denoted ; while, at the same time, 
the express identity of the name with that of the kings 
of Babylon, and even with Evil-Merodach, then resid- 
ing there, it may with equal reason be inferred that, un- 
der the name of Merodach, the palace is spoken of by 
the prophet. And next to the idolatrous temple, as the 
seat of false worship which corrupted and destroyed the 
nations, it may well be imagined that the royal residence 
of the despot who oppressed the people of Israel, and 
made the earth to tremble, would be selected as the 
marked object of the righteous judgments of God. And 
secondary only to the Birs Nimrood, in the greatness of 
its ruins, is the Mujelibe or Makloube, generally under- 
stood and described by travellers as the remains of the 
chief palace of Babylon. 

The palace of the king of Babylon almost vied with 
the great temple of their god. And there is now some 
controversy, in which of the principal mountainous heaps 
the one or the other lies buried. But the utter desolation 
of both leaves no room for any debate on the question,— »• 
which of the twain is bowed down and confounded^ and 
which of them is broken in pieces. 

The two palaces or castles of Babylon were strongly 
fortified. And the larger was surrounded by three walls 
of great extent.* When the city was suddenly taken by 
Demetrius, he seized on one of the castles by surprise, 
and displaced its garrison by seven thousand of his own 

> Diodor. Sic. lib. ii. p. 29; Herod, lib. i. cap. clxxxi. 



troops, whom he stationed within it.* Of the other he 
could not make himself master. Their extent and 
strength, at a period of three hundred years after the de- 
livery of the prophecy, are thus sufficiently demonstrated. 
The solidity of the structure of the greater, as well as of 
the lesser palace, might have w4UTanted the belief of its 
unbroken durability for ages. And never was there a 
building whose splendour and ma^ificence were in 
greater contrast to its present desolation. The vestiges 
of the walls which surrounded it are still to be seen, and 
serve with other circumstances to identify it with the Mu- 
jelibe, as the name Merodach is identified with the 
palace. // is broken in pieces, and hence its name Mu- 
jelibe, signifying overturned, or turned upside down. Its 
circumference is about half a mile ; its height one hun- 
dred and forty feet. But it is "a mass of confusion, 
none of its members being distinguishable."^ The ex- 
istence of chambers, passages, and cellars, of different 
forms and sizes, and built of different materials, has been 
fully ascertained.^ It is the receptacle of wild beasts, 
and full of doleful creatures : wild beasts cry in the deso- 
late houses, and dragons in the pleasant palaces; "veno- 
mous reptiles being very numerous throughout the ruins. "'* 
" All the sides are worn into furrows by the weather, and 
in some places where several channels of rain have uni- 
ted together, these furrows are of great depth, and pene- 
trate a considerable way into the mound. "^ " The sides 
of the ruin exhibit hollows worn partly by the weather."^ 
It is brought down to the grave, to the sides of the pit. 

They tliat see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and 
consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth 
to tremble, that did shake kingdoms ? JVarrowly to look 
on and to consider even the view of the Mujelibe, is to 
see what the palace of Babylon, in which kings proud as 

» Plutarch's Life of Demetrius. 

2 Delia Valle. See Univ. Hist. vol. i. p. 135. Buckingham's 
Travels, vol. ii. p. 273. 

3 Ibid. p. 274, 4 Mignan's Travels, pi 168. 
6 Rich's Memoir, p. 29. ^ Mignan's Travels, p. 167. 


" Lucifer," boasted of exalting themselves above the 
" stars of God," has now become, and how, cut down 
to the ground, it is broken in pieces. 

" On pacing over the loose stones and fragments of 
brick-work which lay scattered through the immense 
fabric, and surveying the sublimity of the ruins," says 
Captain Mignan, " I naturally recurred to the time when 
these walls stood proudly in their original splendour, — 
when the halls were the scenes of festive magnificence, and 
when they resounded to the voices of those whom death 
has long since swept from the earth. This very pile was 
once the seat of luxury and vice ; now abandoned to 
decay, and exhibiting a melancholy instance of the retri- 
bution of Heaven. It stands alone ; — the solitary habi- 
tation of the goatherd marks not the forsaken site."* 
Thy pomp is brought down to the grave^ and the noise of 
thy viols ; the worms are spread under thee, and the worms 
cover thee. 

Thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable 
branchy and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust 
through with a sword that go down to the stones of the 
pit; as a carcass trodden under feet. " Several deep ex- 
cavations have been made in different places, into the 
sides of the Mujelibe ; some probably by the wearing of 
the seasons ; but many others have been dug by the rapa- 
city of the Turks, tearing up its bowels in search of 
hidden treasure," — as if the palace of Babylon we7^ cast 
out of its grave. " Several penetrate very far into the 
body of the structure," till it has become as the raiment 
of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword. 
" And some, it is likely, have never yet been explored, 
the wild beasts of the desert literally keeping guard over 
them."=^ " The mound was full of large holes"^ — thrust 

Near to the Mujelibe, on the supposed site of the 
hanging gardens which were situated within the walls 

1 Mignan's Travels, pp. 172, 173. 

^ Sir R. K. Porter's Travels, vol. ii. p. 342. 

3 Keppel's Travels, vol. i. p. 179. 


of the palace, " the ruins are so perforated , in conse- 
quence of the digging for bricks, that the original design 
is entirely lost. All that could favour any conjecture of 
gardens built on terraces, are two subterranean passages. 
There can be no doubt that both passages are of vast 
extent ; they are lined with britks laid in with bitumen 
jind ccwered over with large masses of stone. This is 
nearly the only place where stone is observable."^ 
Arches built upon arches raised the hanging gardens 
from terrace to terrace, till the highest was on a level 
with the top of the city walls. Now they are cast out 
like an abominable branch — and subterranean passages 
are disclosed, — down to the stones of the pit. 

As a carcass trodden under feet. The streets of Baby- 
lon were parallel, crossed by others at right angles, .and 
abounded with houses three and four stories high f and 
none can now traverse the site of Babylon, or find any 
other path, without treading them underfoot. The tra- 
veller directs his course to the highest mounds ; and 
there are none, whether temples or palaces, that are not 
trodden on. The Mujelib6 " rises in a steep ascent, 
over which the passengers can only go up by the wind- 
ing paths worn by frequent visits to the ruined edifice."^ 

Her idols are corfounded, her images are broken in 
pieces ; all the graven images of her gods lie hath broken 
unto the ground. " This place," says Beauchamp, 
quoted by Major Rennell, " and the mount of Babel, are 
commonly called by the Arabs Makloube, that is, turned 
topsy-turvy. I was informed by the master-mason, 
employed to dig for bricks, that the places from which 
he procured them were large thick walls and sometimes 
chambers. He has frequently found earthen vessels, 
engraved marbles^ and about eight years ago, a statue as 
large as life, which he threw among the i-ubhish. On 
one wall of the chamber, he found the figure of a cow, 
and of the sun and moon, formed of varnished bricks. 
Sometimes idols of clay are found, representing human 

' Keppel's Travels, vol. i. p. 205. 2 Herod, lib. i. cap. clxxx, 
3 Buckingham's Travels, vol. ii. p. 258. 


figures.*" " Small figures of brass or copper are found 
at Babylon."^ " Bronze antiquities, generally much 
corroded with rust, but exhibiting small figures of men 
and animals are often found among the ruins, "^ or broken 
unto the ground. 

T/ie broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken. 
They were so broad, that, as ancient historians relate, 
six chariots could be driven on them abreast ; or a cha- 
riot and four horses might pass and turn. They existed, 
as walls, for more than a thousand years after the pro- 
phecy was delivered ; and long after the sentence of 
utter destruction had gone forth against them, they were 
numbered among " the seven wonders of the world." 
And what can be more wonderful now, or what could 
have been more inconceivable by man, when Babylon 
was in its strength and glory, than that the broad walls 
of Babylon should be so utterly broken, that it cannot 
be determined with certainty that even the slightest ves- 
tige of them exists ? 

" All accounts agree," says Mr. Rich, " in the height 
of the walls, which was fifty cubits, having been reduced 
to these dimensions from the prodigious height of three 
hundred and fifty feet," (formerly stated, by the lowest 
computation of the length of the cubit, at three hundred 
feet,) " by Darius Hystaspis, after the rebellion of the 
town in order to render it less defensible. I have not 
been fortunate enough to discover the least trace of them 
in any part of the ruins at Hillah ; which is rather an 
unaccountable circumstance, considering that they sur- 
vived the final ruin of the town, long after which they 
served as an enclosure for a park ; in which compara- 
tively perfect state St. Jerome informs us they remained 
in his time."" 

In the sixteenth century they were seen for the last 
time by any European traveller, (so far as the author has 
been able to trace,) before they were finally so utterly 

> Rennell's Geography of Herodotus, p. 362. 

2 Rich's Second Memoir, p. 58. 3 Mignan's Travels, p 229. 

4 Rich's Memoir, pp. 43, 44. 



broken as totally to disappear. And it is interesting to 
mark both the time and the manner in which the walls 
of Babylon, like the city of which they were the impreg- 
nable yet unavailing defence, were brought down to the 
grave, to be seen no more. 

"The meanwhile," as Rauwolff describes them, 
" when we were lodged there, I considered and viewed 
this ascent, and found that there were two behind one 
another," (Herodotus states that there was both an inner, 
or interior, and outer wall*) " distinguished by a ditch, 
and extending themselves like unto two parallel walls 
a great way about, and that they were open in some 
places, where one might go through like gates ; where- 
fore I believe that they were the wall of the old town 
that went about them ; and that the places where they 
were open have been anciently the gates (whereof there 
were one hundred) of that town. And this the rather 
because I saw in some places under the sand (where- 
with the two ascents were almost covered) the old wall 
plainly appear."^ 

The cities of Seleucia, Ctesiphon, Destagered, Kufa, 
and anciently many others in the vicinity, together with 
the more modern towns of Mesched Ali, Mesched Hus- 
sein, and Hillah, "with towns, villages and caravansa- 
ries without number;"^ have, in all probability, been 
chiefly built out of the walls of Babylon. Like the city, 
the walls have been taken from thence^ till none of them 
are left. The rains of many hundred years, and the 
waters coming upon them annually by the overflowing 
of the Euphrates, have also, in all likelihood, washed 
down the dust and rubbish from the broken and dilapi- 
dated walls into the ditch from which they were origi- 
nally taken, till at last the sand of the parched desert has 
smoothed them into a plain, and added the place where 
they stood to the wilderness, so that the hroad walls of 
Babylon are utterly broken. And now% as the subjoined 
evidence suppletory of what has already been adduced, 

« Lib. i. c. 181. 2 Ray's Collection of Travels, pp. 177, 17S. 

3 Sir. R K. Porter's Travels, vol. ii. p. 338. 


fully proves ; it may verily be said that the loftiest wall 
ever built by man, as well as the " greatest city on which 
the sun ever shone," which these walls surrounded, and 
the most fertile of countries, of which Babylon the great 
was the capital and the glory, — have all been swept by 
the Lord of Hosts with the besom of destruction. 

A chapter of sixty pages in length, of Mr. Bucking- 
ham's Travels in Mesopotamia, is entitled, " Search 
after the wall of Babylon." After a long and fruitless 
search, he discovered on the eastern boundary of the 
ruins, on the summit of an oval mound from seventy to 
eighty feet in height, and from three to four hundred feet 
in circumference, " a mass of solid wall, about thirty feet 
in length, by twelve or fifteen in thickness, yet evidently 
once of much greater dimensions each way, the work 
being, in its present state, broken and incomplete in every 
part-y^ and this heap of ruin and fragment of wall he 
conjectured to be a part — the only part, if such it be, 
that can be discovered — of the walls of Babylon, so 
utterly are they broken. Beyond this there is not 
even a pretension to the discovery of any part of 

Captain Frederick, of whose journey it was the " prin- 
cipal object to search for the remains of the wall and 
ditch that had compassed Babylon," states, that neither 
of these has been seen by any modern traveller. " All 
my inquiries among the Arabs," he adds, " on this sub- 
ject, completely failed in producing the smallest effect. 
Within the space of twenty-one miles in length, along 
the banks of the Euphrates, and twelve miles across it 
in breadth, I was unable to perceive any thing that could 
admit of my imagining that either a wall or a ditch had 
existed within this extensive area. If any remains do 
exist of the walls, they must have been of greater cir- 
cumference than is allowed by modern geographers. I 
may possibly have been deceived ; but I spared no pains 
to prevent it. I never was employed in riding and 
» Buckingham's Travels, vol. ii. pp. 306, 307. 


walking less than eight hours for six successive days, 
and upwards of twelve on the seventh."^ 

Major Keppel relates, that he and the party who ac- 
companied him, " in common with other travellers, had 
totally failed in discovering any trace of the city walls ;" 
and he adds, " the divine predictions against Babylon 
have been so literally fulfilled in the appearance of the 
ruins, that I am disposed to give the fullest signification 
to the words of Jeremiah — the broad walls o/" Babylon 
shall be utterly broken.^"^'^ 

Babylon shall be an astonishment — Every one that 
goeth by Babylon shall be astonished. It is impossible 
to think on what Babylon was, and to be an eye-witness 
of what it is, without astonishment. On first entering its 
ruins. Sir Robert Ker Porter thus expresses his feeUngs : 
" I could not but feel an indescribable awe in thus pass- 
ing, as it were, into the gates of fallen Babylon."^ " I 
cannot portray," says Captain Mignan, "the over- 
powering sensation of reverential awe that possessed jny 
mind, while contemplating the extent and magnitude of 
ruin and devastation on every side.""* 

How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder ! 
How is Babylon become a desolation among the na- 
tions ! The following interesting description has lately 
been given from the spot. After speaking of the ruined 
embankment, divided and subdivided again and again, 
like a sort of tangled net- work, over the apparently in- 
terminable ground ; of large and wide-spreading mo- 
rasses ; of ancient foundations ; and of chains of undu- 
lated heaps ; Sir Robert Ker Porter emphatically adds : 
" The whole view was particularly solemn. The majes- 
tic stream of the Euphrates, wandering in solitude, like 
a pdgrim monarch through the silent ruins of his devas- 
tated kingdom, still appeared a noble river under all the 

' Transactions of the Literary Society, Bombay, vol. i. pp. 130, 

2 Keppel's Narrative, vol. i. p. 175 ; Jer. li. 58. 

3 Sir Robert Ker Porter's Travels, vol. ii. p. 294. 
♦ Mignan's Travels, p. 117. 



disadvantages of its desert- tracked course. Its banks 
were hoary with reeds ; and the gray osier willows were 
yet there on which the captives of Israel hung up their 
harps, and, while Jerusalem was not, refused to be com- 
forted. But how has the rest of the scene changed since 
then ! At that time those broken hills were palaces ; 
those long, undulating mounds, streets ; this vast soli- 
tude filled with the busy subjects of the proud daughter 
of the East. Now wasted with misery, her habitations 
are not to he founds and for herself, the worm is spread 
over her.'^^^ 

From palaces converted into broken hills ; from streets 
to long lines of heaps ; from the throne of the world to 
sitting in the dust ; from the hum of mighty Babylon to 
the death-like silence that rests upon the grave to which 
it is brought down ; from the great storehouse of the 
world, where treasures were gathered from every quar- 
ter ; and the prison-house of the captive Jews, where, 
not loosed to return homewards, they served in a hard 
bondage, to Babylon the spoil of many nations, itself 
taken from thence, and nothing left ; from a vast metro- 
polis, the place of palaces, and the glory of kingdoms, 
whither multitudes ever flowed, to a dreaded and 
shunned wspot, not inhabited nor dwelt in from genera- 
tion to generation, where even the Arabian, though the 
son of the desert, pitches not his tent, and where the 
shepherds make not their folds ; from the treasures of 
darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, to the 
taking away of bricks, and to an uncovered nakedness ; 
from making the earth to tremble, and shaking king- 
doms, to being cast out of the grave hke an abominable 
branch ; from the many nations and great kings from the 
coasts of the earth, that have so often come up against 
Babylon, to the workmen that still cast her up as heaps, 
and add to the number of pools in her ruins ; from the 
immense artificial lake, many miles in circumference, by 
means of which the annual rising of the Euphrates was 
regulated and restrained, to these pools of water, a few 
' Sir Robert Ker Porter's Travels, vol. ii. p. 307. 


yards round, dug by the workmen, and filled by the 
river ; from tlie first and greatest of temples, to a burnt 
mountain desolate for ever ; from the golden image, forty 
feet in height, which stood on the top of the temple of 
Belus, to all the graven images of her gods, that are 
broken unto the ground and ^mingled with the dust ; 
from the splendid and luxuriant festivals of Babylonian 
monarchs, the noise of the viols, the pomp of Belshaz- 
zar's feast, and the godless revelry of a thousand lords 
drinking out of the golden vessels that had been taken 
from Zion, to the cry of wild beasts, the creeping of 
doleful creatures, of which their desolate houses and 
pleasant palaces are full, the nestling of owls in cavities, 
the dancing of wild goats on the ruinous mound as on a 
rock, and the dwelling-place of dragons and venomous 
reptiles ; from arch upon arch, and terrace upon terrace, 
till the hanging gardens of Babylon rose like a mountain, 
down to the stones of the pit, now disclosed to view ; 
from the palaces of princes who sat on the mount of the 
congregation, and thought in the pride of their heart to 
exalt themselves above the stars of God, to heaps cut 
down to the ground, perforated as the raiment of those 
that are slain, and as a carcass trodden under feet ; from 
the broad walls of Babylon, in all their height, as Cyrus 
camped against them round about, seeking in vain a 
single point where congregated nations could scale the 
walls or force an opening, to the untraceable spot on 
which they stood, where there is nothing left to turn 
aside, or impede in their course, the worms that cover 
it ; and finally, from Babylon the great, the wonder of 
the world, to fallen Babylon, the astonishment of all who 
go by it ; in extremes like these, whatever changes they 
involve, and by whatever instrumentality they may have 
been wrought out, there is not to this hour, in this most 
marvellous history of Babylon, a single fact that may not 
most appropriately be ranked under a prediction, and 
that does not tally entirely with its express and precise 
fulfilment, while at the same time they all united show, as 
may now be seen — reading the judgments to the very letter, 


and looking to the facts as they are — the destruction 
which has come from the Ahnighty upon Babylon. 

Has not every purpose of the Lord been performed 
against Babylon ? And having so clear illustrations of 
the facts before us, what mortal shall give a negative 
answer to the question, subjoined by their omniscient 
Author to these very prophecies ? — " Who hath declared 
this from ancient time ? Who hath told it from that 
time ? Have not I the Lord ? and there is no God 
beside me ; — declaring the end from the beginning, and 
from ancient times the things that are not yet done, say- 
ing. My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my plea- 
sure." Is it possible that there can be any attestation 
of the truth of prophecy, if it be not witnessed here ? 
Is there any spot on earth which has undergone a more 
complete transformation ? " The records of the human 
race," it has been said with truth, " do not present a 
contrast more striking than that between the primeval 
magnificence of Babylon, and its long desolation."' Its 
ruins have of late been carefully and scrupulously ex- 
amined by different natives of Britain, of unimpeached 
veracity, and the result of every research is a more strik- 
ing demonstration of the literal accompHshment of every 
prediction. How few spots are there on earth of which 
we have so clear and faithful a picture, as prophecy gave 
of fallen Babylon at a time when no spot on earth re- 
sembled it less than its present desolate solitary site! 
Or could any prophecies respecting any single place have 
been more precise or wonderful, or numerous, or true ; 
or more gradually accomplished throughout many gene- 
rations? And when they look at what Babylon was, 
and what it is, and perceive the minute realization of 
them all, may not nations learn wisdom, may not tyrants 
tremble, and may not skeptics think ? 

1 Edinburgh Review, Num. 1. p. 439 

324 TYRE. 


Tyre was the most celebrat;gd city of Phoenicia, and 
the ancient emporium of the world. Its colonies were 
numerous and extensive. " It was the theatre of an 
immense commerce and navigation, the nursery of arts 
and science, and the city of perhaps the most industrious 
and active people ever known."* In the period of 
their greatest splendour and perfect independence, Tyre 
stood at the head of the Phoenician cities.'-^ The king- 
dom of Carthage, the rival of Rome, was one of the 
colonies of Tyre. While this mart of nations was in 
the height of its opulence and power, and at least one 
hundred and twenty-five years before the destruction of 
old Tyre, Isaiah pronounced its irrevocable fall. Tyre 
on the island succeeded to the more ancient city on the 
continent: and — being inhabited by the same people, 
retaining the same name, being removed but a little 
space, and occupying in part the same ground ; the fate 
of both is included in the prophecy. The pride and 
wickedness of the Tyrians, their exultation over the 
calamities of the Israelites, and their cruelty in selling 
them to slavery, are assigned as the reasons of the judg- 
ments that were to overtake them, or as the causes of 
the revelation of the destiny of their city. And the 
whole fate of Tyre was foretold. 

Ezekiel's description of the commerce, riches, and 
pride of Tyre, the ancient Queen of the Ocean, is 
designated by Volney, a valuable historical fragment : 
and he cites the words, as he terms it, " in all their pro- 
phetic enthusiasm." But the prophet denounced its 
doom before he described its splendour and power ; and 
he traced its future history, with all the precision of 

» Volney's Travels, vol. ii. p. 210; Steph. Die. p. 2039 ; Mar- 
shami Can. Chron. p. 304, &c. ; Strabo, Bochart, &c. 
2 Heeren's Researches, vol. ii. jj. 17. 


truth, till the city that was perfect in beauty became a 
place whereon fishers spread their nets, till the stones 
and timber of its superb dwellings were cast into the 
midst of the waters, and the very dust was scraped from 
off the place where the princely merchants gloried in 
their pride, and heaped up their silver and their gold. 
The marvellous facts which Ezekiel and other prophets 
foretold, give to unobservant minds, the semblance of 
enthusiasm to their unerring words. And confessedly 
faithful to the facts, as was ' the historical fragment,' so 
also is the prophecy which contrasts with it, as exhi- 
biting the entire reversal of Tyrian magnificence : and 
the prophetic history of the downfall and ruin of Tyre 
may be read more fully and clearly in the w^ords of 
Ezekiel, than its history, prior to its celebrated siege 
by Alexander the Great, has been recorded in the ex- 
tant works of profane writers. 

EzekiePs 'historical fragment' begins by declaring, 
" The word of the Lord came unto we, sayings Smi of 
man, because that Tyrus hath said against Jerusalem, 
Ma, she is broken that was the gates of the people ; she 
is turned unto me ; I shall be replenished, now she is laid 
waste. Therefore, thus saith the Lord God, Behold I am 
against thee, Tyrus, and will cause many nations to 
come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come 
up. And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break 
down her towers : I will also scrape her dust from her, 
and make her like the top of a rock. It shall be a place 
for the spreading of n£ts in the midst of the sea : for 1 
have spoken it, saith the Lord God ; and it shall become 
a spoil to the nations, &c. Ezek. xxvi. 1 — 5. 

The first of the many nations that came up against 
Tyre was the Chaldeans or Babylonians, under Nebu- 
chadnezzar. History, without explicitly recording the 
facts or the result of the siege, relates little else than its 
duration for thirteen years ; a defect which the possible 
(and lately reported) discovery of the lost works of San- 
choniathon, would in all likelihood supply. The length 
alone of the siege accords with the historical narration 

326 TYRE. 

given by Ezekiel at a subsequent period, that Nebu- 
chadnezzar, king of Babylon, caused his army to serve 
a great service against Tyrus, till every head was bald 
and every shoulder was peeled ; yet had he no wages 
nor his army for Tyrus, for the service that he had served 
against it. 

The vision of the prophet * tarried,' but did not fail. 
It reached, with equal clearness, throughout all future ages. 
And the time is not yet come respecting which Tyre is 
finally spoken of in the word of the Lord. But from the 
height of its dignity, to the depth of its debasement, a 
' fragment' of the book of the prophetic scriptures marked 
out its fate. The confederate Greeks, under their ' great 
king,' came up against Tyrus, at an interval of two hun- 
dred and seventy years, after its siege by Nebuchad- 
nezzar. And restricting the illustration of the prophecies 
to recorded and indisputable facts, which are notorious 
in history, the most unexceptionable testimony is sup- 
plied by Arrian and Quintus Curtius, whose names are 
associated with the history of Alexander and the siege 
of Tyre,* as those of Herodotus and Xenophon with that 
of Cyrus and the capture of Babylon. 

One of the most singular events in history was the 
manner in which the siege of Tyre was conducted by 
Alexander the Great. Irritated that a single city should 
alone oppose his victorious march, enraged at the mur- 
der of some of his soldiers, and fearful for his fame — 
even his army's despairing of success could not deter 
him from the siege. And Tyre was taken in a manner, 
the success of which was more wonderful than the de- 
sign was daring : for it was surrounded by a wall one 
hundred and fifty feet in height, and situated on an 
island half a mile distant from the shore. A mound 
was formed from the continent to the island ; and the 
ruins of old Tyre,'' afforded ready materials for the pur- 

1 See Prideaux, Rollin, Bishop Newton, &c., on the fulfilment 
of the prophecies concerning Tyre. 

2 " Magna vis saxorum ad manum erat, Tyro vetere prae- 
bente." (Quintus Curtius, lib. iv. cap. ix.) — See Prideaux, Rol- 
lin, Bishop Newton, &c. 



pose. Such was the work, that the attempt at first 
defeated the power of an Alexander. The enemy con- 
sumed and the storm destroyed it. But its remains, 
buried beneath the water, formed a barrier which ren- 
dered successful his renewed efforts. A vast mass of 
additional matter was requisite. The soil and the very 
rubbish were gathered and heaped. And the mighty- 
conqueror, who afterwards failed in raising again any 
of the ruins of Babylon, cast those of Tyre into the sea, 
and took her very dust^ from oif her. He left not the 
remnant of a ruin ; and the site of ancient Tyre is now 
unknown. 2 Who then taught the prophets to say of 
Tyrt- — " They shall lay thy stones and thy timber^ and 
thy dust, in the midst of the water. I will also scrape 
HER TtvsTjrom her. I will make thee a terror, and thou 
shall be no more. Thou shall be sought for, yet thou 
shall never be found again.'^^^ 

After the capture of Tyre, the conqueror ordered it to 
be set on fire. Fifteen thousand of the Tyrians escaped 
in ships. And exclusive of multitudes that were cruelly 
slain, thirty thousand were sold into slavery."* Each of 
these facts had been announced for centuries : — " Behold 
the Lord will cast her out ; he will smite her power in the 
sea, and she shall be devoured with fire. — / will bring 
forth a fire from the midst of thee ; I will bring thee to 
ashes upon the earth. Pass ye over to Tarshish ; pass 
over to Chittim. The isles that are in the sea shall be 
troubled at thy departure. — Thou shall die the death of 
them that are slain in the midst of the sea. The children 
of Israel also, and the children of Judah have ye sold. 
I will return the recompense upon your own head.''^ 

But it was also prophesied of the greatest com- 
mercial city of the world, whose merchants were princes ; 

> " HuMDs aggerabatur." (Ibid. cap. xi.) The soil was heaped 

2 Pococke'iS Description of the East, b. i. ch. xx. Bishop New- 
ton ; Volney's Travels, vol. ii. ; Buckingham's Travels, p. 46. 

3 Ezek. xxiv. 4, 12, 21. 

* Rollin, Bishop Newton, &c. 


328 TYRE. 

whose traffickers were the honourable of the earth : " / 
will make thee like the top of a rock. Thou shall he 
a place to spread nets upon.^^*^ The same prediction 
is repeated with an assurance of its truth — " / will make 
her like the top of a rock ; it shall be a place for the 
spreading of nets in the midSt of tJie sea, for I have 
spoken U^'^ 

Tyre, though deprived of its former inhabitants, soon 
revived as a city, and greatly regained its commerce. It 
was populous and flourishing at the beginning of the 
Christian era. It contained many disciples of Jesus, in 
the days of the apostles. An elegant temple and many 
churches were afterwards built there. It was the see of 
the first archbishop under the patriarch of Jerusalem. 
Her merchandise and her hire, according to the prophecy, 
were holiness to the Lord. In the seventh century 
Tyre was taken by the Saracens ; in the twelfth by the 
Crusaders, at which period it was a great commercial 
city. The Mamelukes succeeded as its masters ; and it 
remained for three hundred years in the possession of the 
Turks. But it was not excluded from among the mul- 
titude of cities and of countries whose ruin and devasta- 
tion, as accomplished by the cruelties and ravages of 
Turkish barbarity and despotism, were foretold nearly 
two thousand years before the existence of that nation 
of plunderers. And although it has more lately by a 
brief respite from the greatest oppression, risen some- 
what from its ruins, the last of the predictions respecting 
it has been literally fulfilled, according to the testimony 
of many witnesses. But that of Maundrell, Shaw, Vol- 
ney, and Bruce, may suffice. 

" You find here no similitude of that glory for which 
it was so renowned in ancient times. You see nothing 
here but a mere Babel of broken walls, pillars, vaults, 
&c. Its present inhabitants are only a few poor wretches, 
harbouring themselves in the vaults, and subsisting 
chiefly upon fishing, who seem to be preserved in this 
place by divine providence, as a visible argument how 
» Ezek. xxiv. 14. 2 Ezek. xxiv. 4, 5. 

TYRE. 329 

God hath fulfilled his word concerning Tyre."^ " The 
port of Tyre, small as it is at present, is choked up to 
that degree with sand and rubbish, that the boats of 
those fishermen who now and then visit this once re- 
nowned emporium, and dry their nets upon its rocks and 
ruins, can with great difficulty only be admitted."^ And 
even Volney, after quoting the description of the great- 
ness of Tyre, and the general description of the destruc- 
tion of the city, and the annihilation of its commerce, 
acknowledges that " the vicissitudes of time, or rather 
the barbarism of the Greeks of the Lower Empire and 
the Mahometans, have accomplished this prediction. 
Instead of that ancient commerce, so active and so ex- 
tensive, Sour, (Tyre,) reduced to a miserable village, 
has no other trade than the exportation of a few sacks of 
corn and raw cotton : nor any merchant but a single 
Greek factor, in the service of the French of Saide, who 
scarcely makes sufficient profit to maintain his family." 
But though he overlooks the fulfilment of minuter pro- 
phecies, he relates facts more valuable than any opinion, 
and more corroborative of their truth : — '' The whole 
village of Tyre contains only fifty or sixty poor families, 
who live obscurely on the produce of their little ground 
and a trifling fishery. The houses they occupy are no 
longer, as in the time of Strabo, edifices of three or four 
stories high ; but wretched huts, ready to crumble into 
ruins. "^ Bruce describes Tyre as " a rock whereon 
fishers dry their nets." 

It matters not by what means these prophecies have 
been verified ; for the means were as inscrutable, and as 
impossible to have been foreseen by man, as the event. 
The fact is beyond a doubt that they have been literally 
fulfilled, and therefore the prophecies are true. They 
may be overlooked, but no ingenuity can pervert them. 

1 Maundrell's Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem, p. 88 ; Pri- 
deaux, Lowth, Univ. Hist., Bp. Newton. 

2 Shaw's Travels, vol. ii. p. 31 ; Bp. Newton, «fec. 

3 Volney's Travels, vol. ii. p. 212. 


330 EGYPT. 

No facts could have been more unlikely or striking, and 
no predictions respecting them could have been more 


Egypt was one of the most ancient and one of the 
mightiest of kingdoms, and the researches of the travel- 
ler are still directed to explore the unparalleled memo- 
rials of its power. No nation, whether of ancient or of 
modem times, has ever erected such great and durable 
monuments. While the vestiges of other ancient mo- 
narchies can hardly be found amidst the mouldered ruins 
of their cities, those artificial mountains, visible at the 
distance of thirty miles, the pyramids of Egypt, without 
a record of their date, have withstood, unimpaired, all 
the ravages of time. The dynasty of Egypt takes pre- 
cedence, in antiquity, of every other. No country ever 
produced so long a catalogue of kings. The learning 
of the Egyptians was proverbial. The number of their 
cities,* and the population of their country, as recorded 
by ancient historians, almost surpass credibility. Nature 
and art united in rendering it a most fertile region. It 
was called the granary of the world. It was divided 
into several kingdoms, and their power often extended 
over many of the surrounding countries.^ Yet the know- 
ledge of all its greatness and glory deterred not the Jew- 
ish prophets from declaring that Egypt shall become a 
base kingdoTTi, and never exalt itself any more above the 
nations. And the literal fulfilment of every prophecy 
affords as clear a demonstration as can possibly be given, 
that each and all of them are the dictates of inspiration. 

Egypt was the theme of many prophecies, which were 
fulfilled in ancient times ; and it bears to the present 

1 Twenty thousand. (Herod, lib. ii. cap. clxxvii.) 

2 Marshami Can. Chron. pp. 339, 242. 

EGYPT. 331 

day, as it has borne throughout many ages, every mark 
with which prophecy had stamped its destiny : — 

" They shall be a base kingdom. It shall be the 
basest of kingdoms. Neither shall it exalt itself any 
more above the nations : for I will diminish them, that 
they shall no more rule over the nations.* The pride 
of her power shall come down. And they shall be deso- 
late in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and 
her cities shall be in the midst of the cities that are 
wasted. I will make the land of Egypt desolate, and 
the country shall be destitute of that whereof it was 
full. I will sell the land into the hand of the wicked. 
I will make the land waste, and all that is therein, by 
the hand of strangers. I the Lord have spoken it. And 
there shall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt."^ 

Egypt became entirely subject to the Persians about 
three hundred and fifty years previous to the Christian 
era. It was afterwards subdued by the Macedonians, 
and was governed by the Ptolemies for the space of two 
hundred and ninety-four years, until, about thirty years 
before Christ, it became a province of the Roman em- 
pire. It continued long in subjection to the Romans, 
tributary first to Rome, and afterwards to Constantinople. 
It was transferred, a. d. 641, to the dominion of the 
Saracens. In 1250 the Mamelukes deposed their rulers, 
and usurped the command of Eg}^'pt. A mode of govern- 
ment the most singular and surprising that ever existed 
on earth, was established and maintained. Each suc- 
cessive ruler was raised to supreme authority from being 
a stranger and a slave : no son of the former ruler, no 
native of Egypt succeeding to the sovereignty ; but a 
chief was chosen from among a new race of imported 
slaves. When Egypt became tributary to the Turks in 
1517, the Mamelukes retained much of their power, and 
every pasha was an oppressor and a stranger. During 
all these ages, every attempt to emancipate \\)v country, 
or to create a prince of the land of Egypt, has proved 

1 Ezek. xxix. 14, 15. 

2 Ezek. XXX. 6, 7, 12, 13, xxxii. 15. 

332 EGYPT. 

abortive, and has often been fatal to the aspirant 
Though the facts relative to Egypt form too prominent 
a feature in the history of the world to admit of contra- 
diction or doubt, yet the description of the fate of that 
country, and of the form of its government, shall be left 
to the testimony of those whose- authority no infidel will 
question, and whom no man can accuse of adapting their 
descriptions to the predictions of the event. Gibbon and 
Volney are again our witnesses of the facts. 

" Such is the state of Egypt. Deprived twenty-three 
centuries ago of her natural proprietors, she has seen 
her fertile fields successively a prey to the Persians, the 
Macedonians, the Romans, the Greeks, the Arabs, the 
Georgians, and, at length, the race of Tartars distin- 
guished by the name of Ottoman Turks. The Mame- 
lukes, purchased as slaves and introduced as soldiers, 
soon usurped the power, and elected a leader. If their 
first establishment was a singular event, their continu- 
ance is not less extraordinary. They are replaced by 
slaves brought from their original country. The system 
of oppression is methodical. Every thing the traveller 
sees or hears reminds him he is in the country of slavery 
and tyranny."* " A more unjust and absurd constitu- 
tion cannot be devised than that which condemns the 
natives of a country to perpetual servitude, under the 
arbitrary dominion of strangers and slaves. Yet such 
has been the state of Egypt above five hundred years. 
The most illustrious sultans of the Baharite and Borgite 
dynasties were themselves promoted from the Tartar and 
Circassian bands ; and the four-and-twenty beys, or mili- 
tary chiefs, have ever been succeeded, not by their sons, 
but by their servants."^ These are the words of Volney 
and of Gibbon ; and what did the ancient prophets fore- 
tel ? ^^ I will lay the land waste ^ and all that is therein^ 
by tlw hands of strangers. I the Lord have spoken it. 
And tliere shall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt. 
The sceptre of Egypt shall depart away.^^ The prophecy 

> Volney's Travels, vol. i. pp. 74, 103, 110, 198. 
' Gibbon's History, vol. xi. c. lix. p. 164. 

EGYPT. 333 

adds : " They shall he a base kingdom ; it shall he the 
basest of kingdo7ns.^^ After the lapse of two thousand 
and four hundred years from the date of this prophecy, 
a scoffer at rehgion, but an eye-witness of the facts, thus 
describes the self-same spot : — " In Egypt there is no 
middle class, neither nobility, clergy, merchants, land- 
holders. A universal air of misery, manifest in all the 
traveller meets, points out to him the rapacity of oppres- 
sion and the distrust attendant upon slavery. The pro- 
found ignorance of the inhabitants equally prevents them 
from perceiving the causes of their evils, or applying the 
necessary remedies. Ignorance, diffused through every 
class, extends its effects to every species of moral and 
physical knowledge. Nothing is talked of but intestine 
troubles, the public misery, pecuniary extortions, basti- 
nadoes, and murders. Justice herself puts to death with- 
out formality."^ Other travellers describe the most exe- 
crable vices as common, and represent the moral cha- 
racter of the people as corrupted to the core. As a 
token of the desolation of the country, mud-walled cot- 
tages are now the only habitations where the ruins of 
temples and palaces abound. Egypt is surrounded by 
the dominions of the Turks and of the Arabs ; and the 
prophecy is literally true which marked it in the midst 
of desolation : — " They shall be desolate in the midst of 
the countries that are desolate^ and her cities shall be in 
the midst of the cities that are wasted.'^'' The systematic 
oppression, extortion, and plunder, which have so long 
prevailed, and the price paid for his authority and power 
by every Turkish pasha, have rendered the country desti- 
tute of that whereof it was full^ and still show both how 
it has been wasted by the hands of strangers^ and how it 
has been sold into the hand of the wicked. 

The waters shall fail from the sea, and the rivers shall 
be wasted and dried up. And they shall turn the rivers 
far away, and the brooks of defence shall be emptied and 
dried up : the reeds and flags shall wither. The papet 
reeds by the brooks, by the mouth of the brooks, and every 
1 Volney's Travels, vol. i. pp. 190, 198. 

334 EGYPT. 

thing sovm by the hrooJcs shall vntfier, and be driven away, 
and shall not be,^ &c. / vrill make the rivers dry, — and 
I will make the land waste,^ &c. Son of man, speak 
unto Pharaoh king of Eg)'pt, and to his multitudes: 
"Whom art thou like in th^ greatness ? The waters made 
him great, the deep set him up on high, with her rivers 
running about his plants, and sent out her little rivers 
unto all the trees of the field. Therefore his height was 
exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs 
were multiplied, and his branches became long, because 
of the multitude of waters, when he shot forth. Thus 
was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches ; 
for his root was by the great waters, &c. I have driven 
him out for his wickedness. Thou shalt lie in the midst 
of the uncircumcised, with them that be slain by the 
sword. This is Pharaoh, and all his multitudes, saith 
the Lord God.» 

The turning far away of the rivers, or of the ancient 
branches of the Nile from their course, and the drying 
up of the canals, and consequent emptying of the brooks, 
which spread fecundity over Egypt, may be ranked among 
the immediate and most influential causes of the deso- 
lation which has spread over the far greater part of Egypt. 
Wherever, on the banks of the Nile, irrigation is prac- 
tised, and the little rivers run about the plants, and are 
sent out unto all the trees of the field, the wonderful 
luxuriance of the irrigation may well astonish a European ; 
and the sickly green-house plants of our cold and com- 
paratively sunless clime, assume a gigantic form. And 
partial and narrow as these rich fringes now are, advanc- 
ing hills of sand (through the sloping sides of which the 
stems, and upper branches, and topmost twigs of trees 
buried, or being buried, may be seen as marking the pro- 
gress of yet unstayed desolation) in some places, as at 
Rosetta, threaten destruction, like that of the felon con- 
demned to stand on the brink of the rising tide. But 
over great part of Egypt desolation has done its perfect 
work. The streams of the Nile are now circumscribed 

» Isa. xix. 5—7 « Ezek. xxx. 12. » Ezek. xxx. 

EGYPT. 335 

within narrow limits to what formerly they were. On 
the western side of Egypt, as seen in Heath's plan of 
Egypt, an " ancient bed of the river Nile, now dry, and 
called by the natives Bellomah," is distant eighty miles 
from the nearest branch of that river. The intermediate 
space, of greater length than breadth, is marked as 
"immense sandy plains;" and a long canal which 
partly intersected it, is now " dry, except at the time of 
the inundation." Along the sea-coast the land is level 
and destitute of trees. And on the eastern side of Egypt, 
" the Pelusian branch of the Nile is choked up," and 
the plain in which it flowed, except in a few stagnant 
pools, is undistinguished from the sandy desert which 
now surrounds it on every side. In the intermediate 
space, and even within the far narrower Hmits now occu- 
pied by the stream of the Nile, the dry lines of rivers 
and canals are to be seen, and the desert covers many 
extensive regions which once raised Egypt among the 
chief of the kingdoms. With the exception of the en- 
virons of Rosetta and Damietta, and of a few miserable 
villages, in traversing the once rich Delta of Egypt from 
one side to another, the traveller, as the writer witnessed, 
passes through a desert; and where streams once ran 
about the plants, and the Httle rivers were sent out among 
the trees of the field, water-skins are a necessary equipage 
of a traveller, and can only be filled anew, after a jour- 
ney of eight or ten hours, or of a longer period, and 
sometimes, too, at an unwholesome stagnant well, of the 
like of which the cattle in this country would not drink. 
Assuredly the desert has spread over a large portion of the 
once fertile land of Egypt. The land is waste, and every 
thing is withered, where the rivers have been turned far 
away, and the brooks are emptied and dried up. 

The most recent travellers in Egypt, as in other coun- 
tries, now see and acknowledge the marvellous fulfilment 
of the prophecies. 

" Long," says Lord Lindsay, " did we gaze on the 
scene around and below us, (temple of Carnac at Thebes) 
— utter, awful desolation! Truly, indeed, has No been 

i53t) EGYPT. 

* rent asunder.' The towers of the second, or eastern 
propylon are mere heaps of stones, * poured down,' — as 
prophecy and modern travellers describe the foundations 
of Samaria — into the court on one side, and the great 
hall on the other ; giant columns have been swept away 
like reeds before the mighty avalanche," &c. " Re- 
turning to the great obehsk, and seating myself on the 
broken shaft of its prostrate companion, I spent some de- 
lightful moments in musing over the scene of ruins scat- 
tered around me, so visibly smitten by the hand of God, 
in fulfilment of the prophecies that describe No-Ammon 
as the scene of desolation I then beheld her. The hand 
of the true Jove Ammon, El-Araunah, the God of 
Truth, has indeed * executed judgments on all the gods 
of Egypt,' but especially on his spurious representative, 
the idol of this most stupendous of earthly temples ; silence 
reigns in its courts ; the ' multitude of No' has been cut 
off; Pathros is ^ desolate ;' — the land of Ham is still the 
basest of kingdoms : — so sure is the word of prophecy, 

so visible its accomplishment." ^'' We have spent 

the w^hole day in visiting the site of Memphis and the 
pyramids of Dashour and Sacara. Mounds and embank- 
ments, a few broken stones, and two colossal statues, 
disinterred a few years ago by our friend Caviglia, are 
the solitary remains of "the ancient capital of Lower 
Egypt. We rode for miles through groves of palm and 
acacia, cultivated fields, and wastes of sand, over what 
we knew must be the site of Memphis, but every other 
vestige of her ancient grandeur has disappeared. Noph 
is indeed * waste and desolate.' "^ 

" Thus saith the Lord God, I will also destroy the 
idols, and I will cause tJieir images to cease out of JVoph. 
Jind I will make Pathros desolate, and I will set fire in 
2^an (marg. Sanis), and I will execute judgments in JVb, 
and I will pour my fury upon Sin, the strength of Egypt ; 
and I will cut of the multitude of JYo. And I will set 
fire in Egypt : Sin shall have great pain, and Mo shall 
be rent asunder, and JVoph shall have distresses daily. The 
» Lord Lindsay's Travels, vol. i. pp. 185—189. 

EGYPT. 337 

young Kien of Avon (Heliopolis), and of Pi-heseth (Pelu- 
siuin), shall fall by the sword : and these cities shall go 
into captivity. At Tehaphnehes also the day shall be 
darkened, when I shall break there the yokes of Egypt ; 
and the pomp of her strength shall cease in her. — Thus 
will I execute judgments in Egypt ; and they shall know 
that I am the Lord.^^^ 

Though Herodotus numbered the cities of Egypt by 
thousands, yet all those which existed in the days of the 
prophets have long been in ruins. Egypt, of old ex- 
ceedingly rich and populous, is now, except where still 
partially watered by the Nile and cultivated, bare and 
depopulated. Its two great cities, Cairo and Alexandria, 
are bordered by the desert. And with the exception of 
Rosetta and Damietta, and a few miserable villages, not 
a single town is to be met with, in traversing Lower 
Egypt from Alexandria to El Arish, or from one extre- 
mity to the other. Thebes, once famed for its hundred 
gates, may be called, from the magnificence of its re- 
mains, the metropolis of ruins. The mummies, so abun- 
dant at Memphis, remain, though the city has perished ; 
and the human forms which once peopled it, have retained 
their perfect structure long after its palaces and temples 
have mouldered into indistinguishable heaps. Heliopolis 
has now a single erect obelisk to tell that the mounds 
around it were once the * city of the sun.' A single 
street, with its central square, of the city of Alexandria, 
built after the era of the prophets, occupied a greater 
space than the modern city.^ "At Bubastis, now Tel 
Basta, the Pi-beseth of Scripture, are lofty mounds, and 
some remains of the ancient city of Pasht. Many other 
mounds, in various parts of the Delta, mark the sites of 
ancient towns."^' The author, in hastily passing through 
Egypt, heard of ruins in -various directions, and passed 
over those of Zoan,'* of which, besides the general deso- 

1 Ezek. XXX. 12—19. 2 See Heath's Plan of Alexandria. 

3 Wilkinson's Thebes, p. 347. 

4 Arriving late in the day at San (Zoan) my friend the Rev. 
Andrew Bonar first directed my attention to these ruins. 


338 EGYPT. 

lation that was to come on the cities of Egypt, the pro- 
phet said, / mil set afire in Zoan. As the Lord wrought 
wonders of old in the fields of Zoan, so that city (the 
locality of which is undoubted) now bears in its ruins 
the proof of its ancient greatness, and the marks of its 
prophetic fate. The remains of Zoan being little known, 
as only partially described by travellers, may be more 
particularly noticed. 

San, or, as pronounced by the Arabs on the spot, 
Zaan, a small fishing village, built of mud and brick, 
some of the dwellihgs consisting of the former and some 
ot the latter, is the only representative of this seat of 
Pharaoh's glory. In its immediate vicinity, but raised 
considerably above the plain, are the ruins of the ancient 
city. These, in general, where not buried under sand, 
consist of large heaps of debris, formed of earth, broken 
bricks, and tiles in great abundance. The chief remains, 
all fallen, and lying almost in straight lines, seem to have 
belonged to the same range of grand and public edifices. 
On the remote extremity from the village, high sandy 
mounds render any ruins or buildings invisible, if ever, 
as in all likelihood, they have existed there. Two frag- 
ments of obelisks, the one twenty-seven, the other sixteen 
feet long, first appear above the sand. At the distance 
of sixty yards,' upwards of twenty large blocks of granite, 
evidently some portion of an ancient building, lie on the 
ground, and nearly the same number at a farther similar 
distance. Besides these last, there are broken fragments 
of obelisks, covered with rubbish, and a stone figure or 
image, in a sitting position, eleven feet in height, resting 
on a block five feet high, and four broad, but lying 
nearly horizontally, with head inclined downwards, as if 
licking the dust. About thirty-six yards farther on, in 
the same direction, are three broken obelisks, of one of 
which, the top or upper part, which has been broken off, 
is twenty-four feet long, lying horizontally, while the 
lower part, in two other fragments, dips obliquely into 
the sand. The second obelisk, lying near it, is hid at 
both extremities, and broken in the middle : though 

EGYPT. 339 

above thirty feet long, it is evident that only a portion of 
it is seen, the narrowest part of which that is visible, is 
four feet in diameter. The third is evidently in an un- 
finished state. And this is a token, among other proofs, 
that the Lord has been a swift messenger against Egypt, 
and that his judgments have come upon it suddenly. At 
a farther distance of fifty yards, two other obelisks lie 
contiguous ; and at a little distance from these, in a sin- 
gle spot, from seventy to eighty largest ones or blocks of 
granite are crowded together, (some of them six feet by 
four,) most of which are partly hid in the ground, and 
some scattered around. Fragments of ruins lie over a 
large extent, and among these many vitrified pieces, larger 
than those on Gaza, are to be found, clearly indicating 
that the Lord hath set fire in Zoan. 

Can any words be more free from ambiguity, or could 
any events be more wonderful in their nature, or more 
unlikely or impossible to have been foreseen by man, 
than these prophecies concerning Egypt ? The long line 
of its kings commenced with the first ages of the world, 
and, while it was yet unbroken, its final termination was 
revealed. The very attempt once made by infidels to 
show, from the recorded number of its monarchs and the 
duration of their reigns, that Egypt was a kingdom pre- 
vious to the Mosaic era of the deluge, places the won- 
derful nature of these predictions respecting it in the 
most striking view. And the previous experience of 
two thousand years, during which period Egypt had 
never been without a prince of its own, seemed to pre- 
clude the possibility of those predicted events which the 
experience of the last* two thousand years has amply 
verified. Though it had often tyrannized over Judea 
and the neighbouring nations, the Jewish prophets fore- 
told that its own sceptre should depart away ; and that 
that country of kings (for the numbers of its contempo- 
rary as well as successive monarchs may w^arrant the 
appellation) would never have a prince of its own ; and 
that it would be laid waste by the hands of strangers. 
They foretold that it should be a base kingdom, the 

340 EGYPT. 

basest of kingdoms; that it should be desolate itself, 
and surrounded by desolation ; and that it should never 
exalt itself any more above the nations. They describe 
its i^ominious subjection and unparalleled baseness, 
notwithstanding that its past and present degeneracy 
bears, not a more remote resembiance to the former great- 
ness and pride of its power than the frailty of its mud- 
walled fabrics now bears to the stabiHty of its imperish- 
able pyramids. Such prophecies, accomplished in such 
a manner, prove, without a comment, that they must be 
the revelation of the omniscient Ruler of the universe.* 

On a review of the prophecies relative to Nineveh, 
Babylon, Tyre, and Egypt, may we not, by the plainest 
induction from indisputable facts, conclude that the fate 
of these cities and countries, as well as of the land of 
Judea and the adjoining territories, demonstrates the 
truth of all the prophecies respecting them ? and that 
these prophecies, ratified by the events, give the most 
powerfiil of testimonies to the truth of the Christian re- 
ligion ? The desolation was the work of man, and was 
effected by the enemies of Christianity ; and would have 
been the same as it is, though not a single prophecy had 
been uttered. It is the prediction of these facts, in all 

1 Egypt has, indeed, lately risen, under its present spirited but 
despotic pasha, who is both an oppressor and a stranger, to a degree 
of political importance and power unknown to it for many past 
centuries. Yet this fact, instead of militating against the truth 
of prophecy, may, possibly at no distant period, serve to illustrate 
another prediction, which implies that, however base and degraded 
it might continue to be throughout many generations, it would, 
notwithstanding, have strength sufficient to be looked to for aid 
or protection, even at the time of thff restoration of the Jews to 
Judea, who will seek " to strengthen themselves in the strength 
of Pharaoh, and trust in the shadow of Egypt." Other prophecies 
respecting it await their fulfilment. Yet, whatever its present ap- 
parent strength may be, it is still but " the shadow of Egypt." (Isa. 
XXX. 2, xxxi. 1.) The whole earth shall yet rejoice ; and Egypt shall 
not be for ever base. The Lord shall smite Egypt ; he shall smile and 
heal it ; and they shall return to the Lord, and he shall he entreated of 
them, and shall heal them. And in that day shall Israel be the third 
with Egypt and tvith Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the landy 
&c. (Isa. xix. 19—25.) 

EGYPT. 341 

their particulars, infinitely surpassing human foresight, 
which is the work of God alone. And the ruin of these 
empires, while it substantiates the truth of every iota of 
these predictions, is thus a miraculous confirmation and 
proof of the inspiration of the Scriptures. By what 
fatality is it, then, that infidels should have chosen for 
the display of their power this very field, where, without 
conjuring, as they have done, a lying spirit from the 
ruins, they might have read the fulfilment of the prophe- 
cies on every spot ? Instead of disproving the truth of 
every religion, the greater these ruins are, the more 
strongly do they authenticate the scriptural prophecies ; 
and it is not, at least, on this stronghold of faith that the 
standard of infidelity can be erected. Every fact related 
by Volney is a witness against all his speculation ; and 
out of his own mouth is he condemned. Can any pur- 
posed deception be more glaring or great, than to over- 
look all these prophecies, and to raise an argument 
against the truth of Christianity from the very facts by 
which they have been fulfilled ? Or can any evidence 
of divine inspiration be more convincing and clear than 
to view, in conjunction, all these marvellous predictions, 
and their exact completion .'' 





The history of the Arabs, so opposite in many respects 
to that of the Jews, but as singular as theirs, was con- 
cisely and clearly foretold. It was prophesied concern- 
ing Ishmael : — " He will be a wild man ; his hand will 
be against every man, and every man's hand will be 
against him : and he shall dwell in the presence .of all 
his brethren. I will make him fruitful, and multiply 
him exceedingly ; and I will make him a great nation."* 
The fate of Ishmael is here identified with that of his 
descendants ; and the same character is common to them 
both. The historical evidence of the fact, the universal 
tradition, and constant boast of the Arabs themselves, 
their language, and the preservation for many ages of an 
original rite, derived from him as their primogenitor, 
confirm the truth of their descent from Ishmael. The 
fulfilment of the prediction is obvious. Even Gibbon, 
while he attempts from the exceptions which he specifies 
to evade the force of the fact, that the Arabs have main- 
tained a perpetued independence, acknowledges that these 
exceptions are temporary and local ; that the body of the 
nation has escaped the yoke of the most powerful mo- 
narchies ; and that " the arms of Sesostris and Cyrus, of 
Pompey and Trajan, could never achieve the conquest 
of Arabia."" But even the exceptions which he speci- 
fies, though they were justly stated, and though not 
coupled with such admissions as invalidate them, would 
not detract from the truth, of the prophecy. The inde- 
pendence of the Arabs was proverbial in ancient as well 
as in modern times ; and the present existence, as a free 
and independent nation, ,of a people who derive their 

• Genesis xvi. 12 ; xvii. 20. 

2 Gibbon's Hist. vol. ix. c. 1. p. 230. 

ARABS. 343 

descent from so high antiquity, djemonstrates that they 
have never been wholly subdued, as all the nations 
around them have unquestionably been ; and that they 
have ever dwelt in the presence of their brethren. 
They not only subsist unconquered to this day, but the 
prophesied and primitive wildness of their race, and 
their hostility to all, remained unsubdued and unaltered. 
^^ They are a wild people; their hand is against every 
man, and every man'^s hand is against themy In the 
words of Gibbon, which strikingly assimilate with those 
of the prophecy, they are " armed against mankind.^'' 
Plundering is their profession. Their alliance is never 
courted, and can never be obtained ; and all that the 
Turks, or Persians, or any of their neighbours, can stipu- 
late for from them, is a partial and purchased forbear- 
ance. Even the British, who have established a resi- 
dence in almost every country, have entered the territo- 
ries of the descendants of Ishmael to accomplish only the 
premeditated destruction of a fort, and to retire. It can- 
not be alleged, with truth, that their peculiar character 
and manner, and its uninterrupted permanency, are the 
necessary results of the nature of their country. They 
have continued wild and uncivilized, and have retained 
their habits of hostility towards all the rest of the human 
race, though they possessed for three hundred years 
countries the most opposite in their nature from the 
mountains of Arabia. The greatest part of the temperate 
zone was included within the limits of the Arabian con- 
quests ; and their empire extended from the confines of 
India to the shores of the Atlantic,* and embraced a 
wider range of territory than ever was possessed by the 
Romans, those boasted masters of the world. The period 
of their conquest and dominion was sufficient, under such 
circumstances, to have changed the manners of any peo- 
ple : but, whether in the land of Shinar or in the valleys 
of Spain, on the banks of the Tigris or the Tagus, in 
Araby the blessed or Araby the barren, the posterity of 
Ishmael have ever maintained their prophetic character ; 
' Gibbon, vol. ix. c. li. p. 501, vol. x. c. lii. p. 2. 

344 ARABS. 

they have remained, under every change of condition, a 
wild people ; their hand has still been against every man, 
and every man's hand against them. 

The natural reflection of a recent traveller, on ex^ 
amining the peculiarities of an Arab tribe, of which he 
was an eye-witness, may suffice^, without any art of con- 
troversy, for the illustration of this prophecy : — " On the 
smallest computation, such must have been the manners 
of those people for more than three thousand years : thus 
in all things verifying the prediction given of Ishmael at 
his birth, that he, in his posterity, should be a wild man, 
and always continue to be so, though they shall dwell 
for ever in the presence of their brethren. And that an 
acute and active people, surrounded for ages by polished 
and luxurious nations, should, from their earliest to their 
latest times, be still found a wild people, dwelling in the 
presence of all their brethren, (as we may call those na- 
tions,) unsubdued and unchangeable, is indeed a stand- 
ing miracle ; one of those mysterious facts which establish 
the truth of prophecy."^ 

Recent discoveries have brought to light the mira- 
culous preservation and existence, as a distinct people, 
of a less numerous, but not less interesting race ; " a 
plant which grew up under the mighty cedar of Israel, 
but was destined to flourish when that proud tree was 
levelled to the earth."^ " Thus saith the Lord of hosts, 
the God of Israel, Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not 
want a man to stand before me for ever."^ The Rechab- 
ites still exist, a " distinct and easily distinguishable" 
people. They boast of their descent from Rechab, pro- 
fess pure Judaism, and all know Hebrew. Yet they 
live in the neighbourhood of Mecca, the chief seat of 
Mahometanism, and their number is stated to be sixty 
thousand. The account given of them by Benjamin of 
Tudela, in the twelfth century ,"* has very recently been 
3onfirmed by Mr. Wolff; and, as he witnessed, and 

• Sir R. K. Porter's Travels, p. 304. 

2 Quarterly Review, Num. Ixxv. p. 142. » Jer. xxxv. 19. 

* Basnage's History, p. 620. 


heard from an intrepid " Rechabite cavalier," there is 
not a man wanting to stand up as a son of Rechab.^ 



Not only do the different countries and cities, which 
form the subjects of prophecy, exhibit to this day their 
predicted fate, but there is also a prophecy recorded as 
delivered in an age coeval with the deluge, when the 
members of a single family included the whole of the 
human race, the fulfilment of which is conspicuous even 
at the present time. And while the fate of the Jews 
and of the Arabs, throughout many ages, has confirmed, 
in every instance in which the period of their prediction 
is already past, the prophecies relative to the descend- 
ants of Isaac and of Ishmael ; existing facts, which are 
prominent features in the history of the world, are equally 
corroborative of the predictions respecting the sons of 
Noah. The unnatural conduct of Ham, and the dutiful 
and respectful behaviour of Shem and Japheth towards 
their aged father, gave rise to the prediction of the future 
fate of their posterity, without being at all assigned as 
the cause of that fate. But whatever was the occasion 
on which it was delivered, the truth of the prophecy 
must be tried by its completion : — " Cursed be Canaan ; 
a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. 
Blessed be the Lord God of Shem ; and Canaan shall 
be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall 
dwell in the tents of Shem ; and Canaan shall be his 

The historical part of Scripture, by its describing so 
particularly the respective settlements of the descendants 
of Noah, *^ after their generations in their nations," 

1 See Wolff's Journal, (1828,) vol. ii. pp. 276, 331—336. 

2 Geu. ix. 26, 26, 27. 


affords, to this day, the means of trying the truth of the 
prediction, and of ascertaining whether ihe prophetic 
character, as given by the patriarch of the postdiluvian 
world, be still applicable to the inhabitants of the dif- 
ferent regions of the earth which were peopled by the 
posterity of Shem, of Ham, and of Japheth. The isles 
of tfie gentiles,^ or the countries beyond the Mediterra- 
nean, to which they passed by sea, viz. those of Europe, 
were divided by the sons of Japheth. The descendants 
Df Ham inhabited Africa and the south-western parts of 
A-sia.^ The families of the Canaanites were spread 
abroad. TJie border of the Canaanites was from Sidon.^ 
The city of Tyre was called the daughter of Sidon ; and 
Carthage, the most celebrated city of Africa, was peo- 
pled from Tyre. And the dwellings of the sons of Shem 
were unto the east,* or Asia. The particular allotment, 
or portion of each, " after their families, after their 
tongues, in their countries, and in their nations,"^ is 
distinctly specified. And although the different nations 
descended from any one of the sons of Noah, have inter- 
mingled with each other, and undergone many revolu- 
tions, yet the three great divisions of the world have 
remained distinct, as separately peopled and possessed 
by the posterity of each of the sons of Noah. On this 
subject the earliest commentators are agreed, before the 
existence of those facts which give to the prophecy its 
fullest illustration. The facts themselves, by which the 
prediction is verified, are so notorious and so applicable, 
that the most brief and simple statement may suffice. 
Before the propagation of Christianity, which first spoke 
peace to earth, taught a law of universal love, and called 
all men brethren, slavery everywhere prevailed, and the 
greater part of the human race, throughout all the world, 
were born to slavery, and unredeemed for life. Man 
can now -boast of a nobler birthright. But, though long 
fcmished from almost all Europe, slavery still lingers in 
Africa. That country is distinguished above every other 

' Gen. X. 5. 2 ibid. 3 Gen. x. 6, 18, 19. 4 Gen. x. 30* 
^ Gen. X. 31, 32 See Mede, Die. L. p. 377, &c. 



as the land of slavery. Slaves at home, and transported 
for slavery, the poor Africans, the descendants of Ham, 
are the servants of servants, or slaves to others. Yet so 
unlikely was this fact to have been foreseen by man, 
that, for centuries after the close of the Old Testament 
history, the inhabitants of Africa disputed with the Ro- 
mans the empire of the world. But Hannibal, who was 
once almost master of Rome and of Europe, was forced 
to yield to and to own the fate of Carthage.* 

" God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the 
tents of Shem." Some of the ablest interpreters of pro- 
phecy, of a former age, conceived that this prediction 
was fulfilled, not only by the conquests which the Mace- 
donians and the Romans obtained over many of the 
countries of Asia, but that the promise or blessing of 
enlargement to Japheth was also verified in a metapho- 
rical sense, by the extension of the knowledge of true 
religion to the nations of Europe. But it stands not now 
in^need of any questionable interpretation, having re- 
ceived a literal accomplishment. What is at present the 
relative situation or connection of the inhabitants of 
Europe and of Asia, the descendants of Japheth and of 
Shem ? May not the former be said literally to dwell in 
the tents of the latter ? Or what simile, drawn from the 
simplicity of primeval ages, could be more strikingly 
graphic of the numerous and extensive European colo- 
nies in Asia ? And how much have the posterity of 
Japheth been enlarged within the regions of the posterity 
of Shem ? In how many of their ancient cities do they 
dwell ? How many settlements have they established ? 
— while there is not a single spot in Europe the colony 
or the property of any of the nations whom the Scrip- 
tures represent as descended from Shem, or who inhabit 
any part of that quarter of the world which they pos- 
sessed. And it may be said, in reference to England, 
and to the immense extent of the British Asiatic domi- 
nions, that the natives of the isles of the gentiles dwell 
in the tents of the east! From whence, then, could 
• Livii Hist. lib. xxvii. c. 51 ; Mede, ibid. 


su6h a prophecy have emanated, but from inspiration by 
Him whose presence and whose prescience are alike 
unlimited by space or by time ? 

Whatever events the prophecies reveal, they never 
sanction any iniquity or evil. J^Fhe wrath of man work- 
eth nbt the righteousness of God, though it be made to 
praise him. And any defence or attempted justification 
of slavery, or of man having any moral right of property 
in man, must be sought in vain from the fulfilment of 
this prediction. Nebuchadnezzar was the guilty instiu- 
ment of righteous judgments; and although in the ex- 
ecution of these he was the servant of the Lord, it was 
his own gain and glory which he sought, and after hav- 
ing subdued nations not a few, he was driven from men, 
and had his dwelling with the beasts. Never were judg- 
ments more clearly marked than those which have rested 
on the Jews in every country under heaven. Yet he 
that toucheth them, toucheth the apple of his eye : and the 
year of recompences for the controversy of Zion shall'be 
the day of the Lord's vengeance, when he will plead 
with all flesh for his people and for his heritage. And 
if these examples suffice not to show that it is a wresting 
of Scripture to their destruction, for any to seek from 
them the vindication of slavery, because Canaan was to 
be the servant of servants unto his brethren, yet they 
who profess to look here to the holi/ Scriptures for a 
warrant, because that fact was foretold, should remember, 
that though Christ was delivered into the hands of his 
enemies, " by the determinate counsel and foreknow- 
ledge of God, it was by wicked hands that he was cru- 
cified and slain.'' God hath made of one flesh all the 
nations of the earth. And, were the gospel universally 
and rightly appealed to, no other bond would be known 
among men but that »f Christian brotherhood. 




Incomplete as has been the view given in the fore- 
going pages of the Evidence of Prophecy, yet do not 
the joint clearness of the prophecies themselves, and the 
profusion of precise facts which show their literal fulfil- 
ment, bid defiance to the most subtle skeptic to forge or 
feign the shadow of a just reason to prove how they 
could all have been spoken, except by inspiration of 
God ? The sure word of prophecy has indeed unfolded 
many a desolation which has come upon the earth ; but 
while it thus reveals the operation, in some of its bear- 
ings, of the " mystery of iniquity," it forms itself a 
part of the " mystery of godliness :" and it is no less the 
testimony of Jesus, because it shows, as far as earthly 
ruins can reveal, the progress and the issue of the do- 
minion of " other lords" over the hearts of the children 
of men. The sins of men have caused, and the cruelty 
of men has effected the dire desolations which the word 
of God foretold. Signs and tokens of his judgments 
there indeed have been, but they are never to be found 
but where iniquity first prevailed. And though all other 
warnings were to fail, the sight of his past judgments, 
and the sounding of those that are to come, might teach 
the unrepenling and unconverted sinner to give heed to 
the threatenings of his word and to the terrors of the 
Lord, and to try his ways and turn unto God, while 
space for repentance may be found, ere, as death leaves 
him, judgment shall find him. And may not the desola- 
tions which God has wrought upon the earth, and that 
accredit his word, wherein life and immortality are 


brought to light, teach the man whose God is the world, 
to cease to account it worthy of his worship and of his 
love, and to abjure that " covetousness, which is idola- 
try," till the idol of mammon in the temple within shall 
fall, as fell the image of Dagon before the ark of the 
Lord, in which " the testimony"- was kept? 

But naming, as millions do, the name of Christ, with- 
out departing from iniquity, there is another warning 
voice that may come more closely to them all. And it 
is not only from the desolate regions where heathens 
dwelt, which show how holy men of old spake as they 
were moved by the Holy Ghost ; but also from the ruins 
of some of the cities where churches were formed by 
apostles, and where the religion of Jesus once existed in 
its purity, that all may learn to know that God is no re- 
specter of persons, and that he will by no means clear 
the guilty. " He that hath an ear, let him hear what the 
Spirit saith unto the churches." 

What church could rightfully claim or ever seek a 
higher title than that which is given in Scripture to the 
seven churches of Asia, the angels of which were the 
seven stars in the right hand of Him who is the first and 
the last, of Him that liveth and was dead and is alive 
for evermore, and that hath the keys of hell and of death ; 
and which themselves were the seven golden candle- 
sticks in the midst of which he walked ? And who that 
hath an ear to hear, may not humbly hear and greatly 
profit by what the Spirit said unto them.* 

The Church of Ephesus, after a commendation of 
their first works, to which they were commanded to re- 
turn, were accused of having left their first love, and 
threatened with the removal of their candlestick out of 
its place, except they should repent.^ Ephesus is situated 
nearly fifty miles south of Smyrna. It was the metropo- 
lis of Ionia, and a great and opulent city, and (accord- 
ing to Strabo) the greatest emporium of Asia Minor. It 
was chiefly famous for the temple of Diana, " whom all 
Asia worshipped," which was adorned with one hundred 
' Rev. ii. and iii. 2 Rev. ii. 5. 


and twenty-seven columns of Parian marble, each of a 
single shaft, and sixty feet high, and which formed one 
of the seven wonders of the w^orld. The remains of its 
magnificent theatre, in which it is said that twenty thou- 
sand people could easily have been seated, are yet to be 
seen.^ But " a few heaps of stones, and some miserable 
mud cottages, occasionally tenanted by Turks, without 
one Christian residing there, are all the remains of an- 
cient Ephesus."^ It is, as described by different travellers, 
a solemn and most forlorn spot. The epistle to the Ephe- 
sians is read throughout the world : but there is none in 
Ephesus to read it now. They left their first love ; they 
returned not to their first works. Their candlestick has 
been removed out of its place; and the great city of 
Ephesus is no more. 

The Church of Smyrna was approved of as " rich," 
and no judgment was denounced against it. They were 
warned of a tribulation of ten days, (the ten years^ per- 
secution by Dioclesian,) and were enjoined to be faithful 
unto death, and they would receive a crown of life.^ 
And, unlike to the fate of the more famous city of Ephesus, 
Smyrna is still a large city, containing nearly one hundred 
thousand inhabitants, with several Greek churches ; and 
an English and other Christian ministers have resided in 
it. The light has indeed become dim, but the candle- 
stick has not been wholly removed out of its place. 

The Church of Pergamos is commended for holding 
fast the name of the Lord, and not denying his faith, 
during a time of persecution, and in the midst of a 
wicked city. But there were some in it who held doc- 
trines, and did deeds, which the Lord hated. Against 
them He was to fight with the sword of his mouth ; and 
dll were called to repent. But it is not said, as of Ephe- 
sus, that their candlestick would be removed out of its 
place.'' Pergamos is situated to the north of Smyrna, at 
a distance of nearly sixty-four miles, and " was formerly 

1 Acts xix. 29. 

2 Arundel's Visit to the Seven Churches of Asia, p. 27. 

3 Rev. ii. 8, 11. 4 Rev. ii. 12—16. 


the metropolis of Hellespontic Mysia." It still contains 
at least fifteen thousand inhabitants, of whom fifteen hun,- 
dred are Greeks, and two hundred Armenians, each of 
whom has a church. 

In the Church of Thyatira, like that of Pergamos, 
some tares were soon mingled with the wheat. He who 
hath eyes like unto a flame of fire, discerned both. Yet 
happily for the souls of the people, more than for the 
safety of the city, the general character of that church, 
as it then existed, is thus described : " I know thy 
works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy pa- 
tience, and thy works ; and the last to be more than the 
first."^ But against those — for such there were among 
them, who had committed fornication, and eaten things 
sacrificed unto idols, to whom the Lord gave space to 
repent of their fornication, and they repented not — great 
tribulation was denounced ; and to every one of them 
was to be given according to their works. These, thus 
warned while on earth in vain, have long since passed, 
whither all are daily hastening, to the place where no 
repentance can be found, and no work be done. " But 
unto the rest in Thyatira, (as many as have not known 
the depths of Satan,) I will put upon you, saith the Lord, 
none other burden."^ There were those in Thyatira 
who could save a city. It still exists, while greater 
cities have fallen. Mr. Hartley, who visited it in 1826, 
describes it as '^ embosomed in cypresses and poplars." 
The Greeks are said to occupy three hundred houses, 
and the Armenians thirty. Each of them has a church. 

The Church of Sardis differed from the churches of 
Pergamos and Thyatira. They had not denied the 
faith ; but the Lord had a few things against them, for 
there were some evil doers among them, and on those, if 
they repented not, judgment was to rest. But in Sardis, 
great though the city was, and founded though the 
church had been by an apostle, there were only a few 
names, which had not defiled their garments. And to 
that church the Spirit said, " I know thy works, that 
» Rev. ii. 19. 2 Rev. ii. 24. 


thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead." But 
the Lord is long-suffering, not willing that any should 
perish, but that all should come to repentance. And 
the church of Sardis was thus warned : "Be watchful, 
and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready 
to die ; for I have not found thy works perfect before 
God. Remember, therefore, how thou hast received and 
heard, and hold fast and repent. If therefore thou shalt 
not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt 
not know what hour I shall come upon thee."^ The 
state of Sardis now is a token that the warning was 
given in vain ; and shows that the threatenings of the 
Lord, when disregarded, become certain judgments. 
Sardis, the capital of Lydia, was a great and renowned 
city, where the wealth of Croesus, its king, was accu- 
mulated, and became even a proverb. But now a few 
wretched mud huts, " scattered among the ruins," are 
the only dwellings in Sardis, and form the lowly home 
of Turkish herdsmen, who are its only inhabitants. As 
the seat of a Christian church, it has lost — all it had to 
lose — the name. " No Christians reside on the spot." 

" And to the angel of the Church in Philadelphia 
write, These things saith He that is holy. He that is true, 
He that hath the key of David, He that openeth and no 
man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth ; I know 
thy works ; behold, I have set before thee an open door, 
and no man can shut it ; for thou hast a little strength, 
and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. 
Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also 
will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall 
come upon all the world. "^ The promises of the Lord 
are as sure as his threatenings. Philadelphia alone long 
withstood the power of the Turks, and in the words of 
Gibbon, " at length capitulated with the proudest of the 
Ottomans. Among the Greek colonies and churches of 
Asia," he adds, " Philadelphia is still erect ; a column 
in a scene of ruins. "^ "It is indeed an interesting cir- 

' Rev. iii. 2, 3. 2 Rev. iii. 7, 8, 10. 

3 Gibbon, vol. xi. ch, Ixiv. p. 427. 



cumstance," says Mr. Hartley, "to find Christianity 
more flourishing here than in many other parts , of the 
Turkish empire : there is still a numerous Christian 
population ; they occupy three hundred houses. Divine 
service is performed every Sunday in five churches." 
Nor is it less interesting, in these eventful times, and 
notwithstanding the general degeneracy of the Greek 
church, to learn that the present bishop of Philadelphia 
accounts " the Bible the only foundation of all religious 
belief;" and that he admits that "abuses have entered 
into the church, which former ages might endure ; but 
the present must put them down." It may well be 
added, as stated by Mr. Hartley,* " the circumstance that 
Philadelphia is now called Allah-Shehr, the city of God, 
when viewed in connection with the promises made to 
that church, and especially with that of writing the 
name of the city of God upon its faithful members, is, to 
say the least, a singular concurrence." From the pre- 
vailing iniquities of men many a sign has been given 
how terrible are the judgments of God. But from the 
fidelity of the church in Philadelphia of old in keeping 
his word, a name and memorial of his faithfulness have 
been left on earth, while the higher glories, promised to 
those that overcame, shall be ratified in heaven ; and 
towards them, but not them only, shall the glorified 
Redeemer confirm the truth of his blessed words, 
" Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the tem- 
ple of my God ;" even as assuredly as Philadelphia, 
when all else fell around it, " stood erect," our enemies 
themselves being judges, " a column in a scene of ruins." 
"And unto the angel of the Church of the Laodi- 
CEANs write. These things saith the Amen, the faithfiil 
and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God ; 
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot : I 
would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art 
lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out 
of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich and in- 
creased with goods, and have need of nothing ; and 
> Missionary Register, June, 1827. 


knowest not thatihou art wretched, and miserable, and 
poor, and blind, and naked ; I counsel thee to buy of 
me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich ; and 
white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the 
shame of thy nakedness do not appear ; and anoint thine 
eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see."^ All the 
other churches were found worthy of some commenda- 
tion ; and there was some blessing in them all. The 
church of Ephesus had laboured and had not fainted, 
though she had forsaken her first love ; and the threatened 
punishment, except she repented, was the removal of her 
candlestick out of its place. A faithless and wicked few 
polluted the churches of Pergamos and Thyatira by their 
doctrines or by their lives ; but the body was sound, and 
the churches had a portion in Christ. Even in Sardis, 
though it was dead, there was life in a few, who had not 
defiled their garments ; " and they shall walk with me 
in white," said the Lord, " for they are worthy." 

But in what the Spirit said to the church in Laodicea, 
there was not one word of approval : it was lukewarm, 
without exception ; and therefore it was wholly loathed. 
The religion of Jesus had become to them as an ordinary 
matter. They would attend to it just as they did to 
other things, which they loved as well. The sacrifice 
of the Son of God upon the cross was nothing thought 
of more than a common gift by man. They were not 
constrained by the love of Christ more than by other 
feelings. They could repeat the words of the first great 
commandment of the law, and of the second, which is 
like unto it ; but they showed no sign that the one or 
the other was truly a law to them. There was no Dor- 
cas among them, who, out of pure Christian love, made 
clothes for the poor. There was no Philemon to whom 
it could be said, " The church in thy house," and who 
could look on a Christian servant as a " brother be- 
loved." There was no servant who looked to the eye 
of his Father in heaven more than to that of his master on 
earth, and to the recompense of eternal reward more than 
1 Rev. iii. 14—18 


to the hireling wages of a day ; and who, by showing all 
good fidelity, sought to adorn the doctrine of God his Sa- 
viour in all things. There was nothing done as everything 
should be, heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men. 

They neither felt nor lived as if they knew that what- 
soever is not of faith is sin. ^Their lukewarmness was 
worse, for it rendered their state more hopeless than if 
they had been cold. For sooner would a man in Sardis 
have felt that the chill of death was upon him, and have 
cried out for life, and called to the physician, than would 
a man of Laodicea, who could calmly count his even 
pulse, and think his life secure, while death was preying 
on his vitals. The character of lukewarm Christians, 
a self-contradicting name, is the same in every age. 
Such was the church of the Laodiceans. — But what is 
that city now, or how is it changed from what it was ! 

Laodicea was the metropolis of the Greater Phrygia ; 
and, as heathen writers attest, it was an extensive and 
very celebrated city. Instead of then verging to its de- 
cline, it arose to its eminence only about the beginning 
of the Christian era. " It was the mother-church of six- 
teen bishoprics." Its three theatres, and the immense 
circus, which was capable of containing upwards of thirty 
thousand spectators, the remains of which (with other 
ruins buried under ruins) are yet to be seen, give proof 
of the greatness of its ancient wealth and population, and 
indicate too strongly, that in the city where Christians 
were rebuked, without exception, for their lukewarm- 
ness, there were multitudes who were lovers of pleasure 
more than lovers of God. The amphitheatre was built 
after the Apocalypse was written, and the warning of the 
Spirit had been given to the church of the Laodiceans 
to be zealous and repent ; but whatever they there may 
have heard or beheld, their hearts would neither have 
been quickened to a renewed zeal for the service and 
glory of God, nor turned to a deeper sorrow for sin, and 
to a repentance not to be repented of. But the fate of 
Laodicea, though opposite, has been no less marked than 
that of Philadelphia. There are no sights of grandeur, 


nor scenes of temptation around it now. Its own tragedy 
may be briefly told. It was lukewarm, and neither cold 
no" hot, and therefore it was loathsome in the sight of 
God. It was loved, and rebuked, and chastened in vain. 
And it has been blotted from the world. It is now as 
desolate as its inhabitants were destitute of the fear and 
the love of God, and as the church of the Laodiceans 
was devoid of true faith in the Saviour, and zeal in his 
service. It is, as described in his Travels by Dr. 
Smith, " utterly desolated, and without any inhabitant, 
except wolves, and jackals, and foxes. "^ It can boast 
of no human inhabitants, except occasionally when wan- 
dering Turkomans pitch their tents in its spacious amphi- 
theatre. The " finest sculptured fragments" are to be 
seen at a considerable depth, in excavations which have 
been made among the ruins.^ And Colonel Leake ob- 
serves,^ " there are few ancient cities more likely than 
Laodicea to preserve many curious remains of antiquity 
beneath the surface of the soil ; its opulence, and the 
earthquakes to which it was subject, rendering it pro- 
bable that valuable works of art were often there buried 
beneath the ruins of the public and priv^ite edifices." A 
fearful significancy is thus given to the terrific denuncia- 
ation, "Because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold 
nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." 

" He that hath ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit 
saith unto the churches." The Spirit searcheth all things, 
yea, the deep things of God. Each church, and each 
individual therein was weighed in the balance of the 
sanctuary according to their works. Each was approved 
of according to its character, or rebuked and warned 
according to its deeds. Was the church itself pure, the 
diseased members alone were to be cut off. Was the 
church itself dead, yet the few names, in which there 
was life, were all written before God, and not one of 
those who overcame would be blotted out of the book 

1 See Smith's Survey of the Seven Churches in Calmet's Diet. • 
Fragments, 328 ; Bishop Newton, &c. 

2 Arundel's Travels, p. 85. 3 Journal, p. 252. 


of life. All the seven churches were severally exhortet. 
by the Spirit according to their need. The faith deli- 
vered to the saints was preached unto them all ; and all, 
as Christian churches, possessed the means of salvation. 
The Son of man walked in the midst of them, beholding 
those who were, and those who* were not his. 

By the preaching of the gospel, and by the w^ritten 
word, every man in each of the churches was warned, 
and every man was taught in all wisdom, that every man 
might be presented perfect in Christ Jesus. And in what 
the Spirit said unto each and all of the churches, which 
he that hath ears to hear was commanded to hear, the 
promise of everlasting blessedness, under a variety of 
the most glorious representations, was given without ex- 
ception, restriction, or reservation to him that over- 
cometh. The language of love, as well as of remon- 
strance and rebuke, was urged even on the lukewarm 
Laodiceans. And if any Christian fell, it was from his 
own resisting and quenching the Spirit ; from his 
choosing other lords than Jesus to have dominion over 
him ; from his lukewarmness, deadness, and virtual de- 
nial of the faith^ and from his own wdlful rejection of 
freely offered and dearly purchased grace ; sufficient, if 
sought and cherished, and zealously used, to have ena- 
bled him to overcome and triumph in that warfare against 
spiritual wickedness to which Christ hath called his dis- 
ciples ; and in which, as the finisher of their faith, he is 
able to make the Christian more than conqueror. 

But if such, as the Spirit described them and knew 
them to be, were the churches and Christians then, what 
are the churches, and what are Christians now? Or, 
rather, we would ask of the reader, what is your own 
hope toward God, and what the work of your faith ? If,- 
while Christianity was in its prime, and when its divine 
truths had scarcely ceased to reach the ears of believers 
from the lips of Apostles, on whose heads the Spirit had 
visibly descended, and cloven tongues, like as of fire, had 
sat; if, even at that time, one of the seven churches of 
Asia had already departed from its first love; if two 


others were partially polluted by the errors in doctrine, 
and evils in the practice, of some of their members ; if 
another had only a few names that were worthy, and yet 
another none; and if they who formed the last and 
worst of these, thought themselves rich and increased 
with goods, and that they had need of nothing ; and 
knew not, that, being lukewarm, they were wretched, and 
miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked ; have you an 
ear to hear or a heart to understand such knowledge ? 
and do you, professing yourself a Christian, as they also 
did, see no cause or warning here to question and ex- 
amine yourself — even as the same Spirit would search 
and try you — of your works, and charity, and service, and 
faith, and patience, and your works, and the last more 
than the first ? 

What is your labour of love, or wherein do you labour 
at all for his name's sake, by whose name you are called ? 
What trials does your faith patiently endure, what temp- 
tations does it triumphantly overcome ? Is Christ in you 
the hope of glory, and is your heart purified through that 
blessed hope ? To a church, we trust, you belong : but 
whose is the kingdom within you ? What principles ever 
actuate you which Christ and his Apostles taught ? 
W^here, in your affections and life, are the fruits of the 
Spirit — love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, good- 
ness, faith, meekness, temperance ? Turn the precepts 
of the gospel into questions, and ask thus what the Spi- 
rit would say unto you, as he said unto the churches ? . 

What the Spirit said unto primitive and apostolic 
churches, over which " the beloved disciple" personally 
presided, may suffice to prove that none who have left 
their first love, if ever they have truly felt the love of 
Jesus — that none who are guilty of seducing others into 
sin and uncleanness — that none who have a name that 
they live and are dead — and that none who are lukewarm, 
are w^orthy members- of any Christian communion ; and 
that, while such they continue, no Christian communion 
can be profitable to thqin. But unto them is " space to 
repent" given. And to them the word and Spirit speak 


in entreaties, encouragements, exhortations, and warn- 
ings ; that they may turn from their sins to the Saviour, 
and that they may live and not die. But were there one 
name in Sodom, or a few in Sardis, that are the Lord's, 
h? knows and names them every one ; and precious in 
his sight is the death of his saints. Some, on the othei 
hand, may be sunk into the depths of Satan, though in 
outward fellowship with a church, were such to be found, 
as pure as once was that of Thyatira. Whatever, there- 
fore, the profession of your faith may be, seek the king- 
dom of God and his righteousness ; that kingdom which 
is righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost, 
and that righteousness which is through faith in Christ, 
who gave himself for the church, that he might sanctify 
and cleanse it. And whatever dangers may then encom- 
pass you around, fear not — only believe ; all things are 
possible to him that believeth. 

It was by keeping the word of the Lord, and not de- 
nying his faith, by hearing what the Spirit said, that the 
Church of Philadelphia held fast what they had, and no 
man took their crown, though situated directly between 
the church of Laodicea, which was lukewarm, and 
Sardis, which was dead. And dead as Sardis was, 
the Lord had a few names in it which had not defiled 
their garments — Christians, worthy of the name, who 
lived, as you yourself should ever live, in the faith of 
the Lord Jesus — dead unto sin, and alive unto righteous- 
ness : while all around them, though naming the name 
of Jesus, were dead in trespasses and sins. Try your 
faith by its fruits ; judge yourselves, that you be not 
judged ; examine yourselves whether you be in the faith ; 
prove your own selves ; and, with the whole counsel df 
God, as revealed in the gospel, open to your view, let 
the rule of your self-scrutiny be what the Spirit said unto 
the churches. 

If you have seen any wonderful things out of the law 
of the Lord, and have looked, though from afar off, on 
the judgments of God that haifc come upon the earth, 
lay not aside the thought of these ihings When you now 


lay down this little book. Treat them not as if they 
were an idle tale, or as if you yourself were not to be a 
witness — and more than a witness — of a far greater judg- 
ment which shall be brought nigh unto you, and shall 
be your own. 

If, in traversing some of the plainest paths of the field 
of prophecy, you have been led by a way which you 
knew not of before, let that path lead you to the w^ell 
of living waters, which springeth up into everlasting life 
to every one that thirsts after it and drinks. Let the words 
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be to you this 
well-spring of the Christian life. Let the word of God 
enlighten your eyes, and it will also rejoice your heart. 
Search the Scriptures; in them are no lying divinations; 
they testify of Jesus, and in them you will find eternal 
life. Pray for the teaching and the aid of that Spirit by 
whose inspiration they were given. And above all Chris- 
tian virtues that may bear witness of your faith, put on 
charity, love to God and love to man, the warp and 
woof of the Christian's new vesture without a seam ; 
which is the fruit of the Spirit, the end of the command- 
ment, the fulfilling of the law, the bond of perfectness, 
and a better gift, and a more excellent way than speaking 
with tongues, or interpreting or prophesying ; and with- 
out which you would be as nothing, though you under- 
stood all mysteries and all knowledge. From the want 
of this the earth has been covered with ruins. Let it be 
yours, and however poor may be your earthly portion, it 
will be infinitely more profitable to you than all the king- 
doms of the world, and all their glory. Prophecies shall 
fail ; tongues shall cease ; knowledge shall vanish away ; 
the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned 
up ; but charity never faileth. 

If you have kept the word of the Lord, and have not 
denied his name, hold that fast which thou hast, that no 
man take thy crown. But if heretofore you have been 
lukewarm, and destitute of Christian faith, and zeal, 
and hope, and love, it would be vain, in closing a 
chapter on such a subject, to leave you with any mortal 


admonition ; hear what the Spirit saith, and harden not 
your heart against the heavenly counsel, and the glorious 
encouragement given unto you by that Jesus, of whom 
all the prophets bear witness, and unto whom all things 
are now committed by the Father: — " I counsel thee to 
bily of me gold tried in the fire, that thou may est be 
rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, 
and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear ; and 
anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see. 
As many as I love I rebuke and chasten ; be zealous, 
therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and 
knock : if any man hear my voice, and open the door, 
I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he 
with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit 
with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am 
set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath 
an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the 


The whole of the preceding brief and imperfect 
sketch forms little else than an enumeration of some of 
the more striking prophecies, and of facts which demon- 
strate their fulfilment ; and a recapitulation of all the 
particulars would be an unnecessary repetition. The 
numerous obscure prophecies, w^hich contain much and 
striking evidence, have hitherto been omitted, that the 
charge of ambiguity, too generally and indiscriminately 
attached to them all, might be proved to be unfounded. 
But, having seen, in hundreds of instances, that pro- 
phecies which were plainly delivered, have been as 
clearly fulfilled, comprehending them all in a single ar- 
gument, and leaving the decision to the enemies of 
Christianity, or to those who are weak in the faith, and 
appeahng to their reason without bespeaking their favour 


— may it not, in the first instance, be asked if it be an easy 
task which is assigned them, to disprove even this part 
of the POSITIVE EVIDENCE to the truth of the rehgion of 
Jesus ? If they have ever staggered at the promises or 
threatenings of the Scriptures because of unbeHef — dis- 
crediting all revelation from on high — can they not here 
discern supernatural evidence in confirmation of super- 
natural truths ? May not sight lead them to faith ? Must 
they not concede that the Christian has some reason for 
the hope that is in him ? And may they not, at the very 
least, be led from thence to the calm and unprejudiced 
investigation, not only of the other prophecies, but of all 
the evidence which Christianity presents ? 

It cannot be alleged, with truth, that the prophecies 
which have been selected are ambiguous ; that they bear 
the character of those auguries which issued from the cloud 
that always overhung the temple of Apollo, or of those 
pretended inspirations which emanated from the cave of 
Hera. It cannot be denied, that they were all pro- 
nounced hundreds or thousands of years before the 
events, which even at the present day demonstrate their 
fulfilment, though every other oracle has ceased for ages 
to appeal to a single fact. And the historical and geo- 
graphical facts, which were so clearly foretold, are, in 
general, of so wonderful a nature, that the language of 
prophecy, though expressive of literal truth, seems at 
first sight to be hyperbolical; and the prophecies of 
Isaiah, in particular, have been charged with being 
"full of extravagant metaphor;"' the more extravagant 

» Were it not for the impiety with which they are conjoined, the 
remarks of Paine on the prophecies would, to those who have 
studied them at all, be sufficiently amusing. He characterizes the 
book of Isaiah as " one continued bombastical rant, full of extra- 
vagant metaphor, without application, and destitute of meaning." 
The predictions respecting Babylon, Moab, &c., are forsooth com 
pared " to the story of the Knight of the Burning Mountain, the 
story of Cinderella," and such like. Isaiah, in short, " was a lying 
prophet and impostor." And " what can we say," he asks, " of 
these prophets, but that they were all impostors and liars 1" Such 
words are not merely harmless ; they may be also useful, as they 
show, that while ev?ry possible corroboration from history, fact. 


the metaphor, or the more remarkable the predicted fact, 
the farther are the prophecies removed from all possibi- 
lity of their having been the words of human invention. 

The following comprehensive and luminous statement 
of the argument, extracted from a review of a former 
edition of this treatise, is here so apposite, that no apo- 
logy need be offered for inserting it at length. 

" This geographical argument (viz. the fulfilment of 
those prophecies which describe the future fate of parti- 
cular nations, and the future aspect of their countries) 
has always appeared to us one of the most impregnable 
strongholds of Christian prophecy ; or rather, one of the 
most resistless and wide-ranging instruments of aggres- 
sive evidence. There is no obscurity in the language 
of the prophet. There is no variety of opinion with re- 
gard to the object in his view. There is no denying of 
the change which he predicts. There is no challenging 
of the witnesses who prove the facts of the case. The 
former glory of these regions and kingdoms is recorded 
by ancient heathen historians, who knew nothing of the 
fall foretold. Their present state is described by recent 
and often infidel travellers, who knew often as little of 
the predictions which they were verifying by their narra- 
tives. It is not a particular event which has passed 
away, or a particular character who has perished, for 
whose era we must search in the wide page of history, 
and of whose description we may find so many resem- 
reason, and even the unconscious testimony of infidels them- 
selves, is given to the truth of the prophecies, nothing can be 
alleged on the other hand but what in the sight of all men mani- 
festly is " bombastical rant, and extravagant metaphor, without 
application, and destitute of meaning." And since both speak 
not the truth, who is the liar ? Isaiah the prophet, or Paine the 
infidel 1 And " what can we say" of this staunch asserter of 
rights, but that his right to the title is undisputed, and that these 
very words of his, were others wanting, must in every " age of 
reason" rivet to his unblest memory the foul aspersions he so 
■^alsely applied 1 Argument in such a case would be an idle 
waste of words. But while it would be an act of mere prodigality 
and folly to cast pearls before swine, the filth which they have 
snorted out may well be cast into their own kennel again, that 
they and their kind may partake of what pertains to them. 


blances -ds to become perplexed in our application. The 
places and the people are named by the prophet, and the 
state in which they now exist is matter of actual observa- 
tion. The fulfilment of the prediction is thus inscribed 
as upon a public monument, which every man who visits 
the countries in question may behold with his own eyes ; 
and is expressed in a language so universally intelligible, 
that every man may be said to read it in his own tongue. 
To these scenes of Scripture prophecy we may point with 
triumph as to ocular demonstration; and say to the skep- 
tical inquirer, in the words of the evangelist, ' Come and 
see.' The multitude of travellers who have recently 
visited the Holy Land and the adjacent regions, have 
famished ample and authentic materials for the construc- 
tion of so irrefragable an argument. Many of these tra- 
vellers have discovered no intention of advocating by 
their statements the cause of revealed truth ; and some 
of them have been obviously influenced by hostility to 
its claims. Yet, in spite of these prejudices, and alto- 
gether unconsciously on their part, they have recorded 
the most express confirmation of the Scripture prophe- 
cies, frequently employing in their descriptions the very 
language of inspiration, and bringing into view (though 
evidently without design) those features of the scene 
which form the precise picture painted in the visions of 
the prophet." 

Willingly might the Christian here rest his assurance 
" in the faith once delivered to the saints," and leave to 
the unbeliever his hopeless creed. But the reasonings 
of one class of infidels must be combined with the re- 
searches of another, to give full force to the Evidence of 
prophecy: and they jointly supply both the clearest facts 
and the strongest arguments, and have made ready the 
means which need only to be applied for bringing the 
controversy with them, in its various bearings, and in 
their own words, to a short issue. 

The metaphysical speculations of Hume,^ and the 

' It may not be here amiss to allude to that kind and courteous 
admonition to Christian writers, so meekly given, and with wis- 


mathematical demonstrations of Laplace, which have 
been directed against the credibility of the miracles, rest 
entirely on the ''^Theory of Probability.^'* Assuming its 
logical and legitimate application to the testimony of any 

dom rivalling its modesty, by this great master of ideal philoso- 
phy, in which, in order perhaps to bring their arguments to cope 
the better with his own, he prescribes to them, as best suited to 
their cause, the total rejection of reason ! After quoting a passage 
from Lord Bacon's Works, which has a very different application, 
he adds, — This method of reasoning (about monsters, magic, and 
alchemy, &c.) may serve to confound those dangerous friends or dis- 
guised enemies of the Christian religion, who have undertaken to defend 
it by the principles of human reason (of whom, by the by. Lord Bacon 
was one, and Sir Isaac Newton another). Our most holy religion 
is founded on faith, not on reason ; and it is a sure method of exposing 
it to put it to such a trial as it is by no means fitted to endure. (Hume's 
Essays, § 10, vol. ii. pp. 136-7, edit. Edinb. 1800.) If these 
words may not justly be retorted against the "unbeliever's creed," 
excluding the epithet of holy; or if Mr. David Hume was better 
acquainted with the principles of the Christian Religion than the 
Author of it, who appealed to the reason of men, and asked them 
why they did not of themselves judge that which was right, and 
than the apostles Peter and Paul, who enjoin Christians to try all 
things, and to hold fast that which is good, and to be able to give 
an answer to every one that asketh them a reason of the hope that 
is in them; then the writer of this treatise, having only the hard 
alternative of being either "a dangerous friend or a disguised 
enemy of the Christian religion," would, with whatever reluctance, 
prefer the former, and has to lament the evil he has done, and the 
" sure method" he has taken "of exposing it." And although he 
may hope that Christians in their charity will forgive him, he 
must yet leave to unbelievers the comfort and the joy of the 
triumph which, in the exercise of that reason which they have 
monopolized, these pages must necessarily give them. Or if, on 
the other hand, in somewhat stricter accordance with the truths 
of Scripture, the author of the Essay on Human Nature supplies, 
by the prefixed words, as clear practical proof, in his " Academi- 
cal Philosophy," or Skepticism in Theory, that it is one of the 
characteristics of the heart of man to be deceitful above all things, as 
mere worldly wisdom and infidelity in practice too frequently de- 
monstrate that it is also desperately vncked: and if Scripture pro- 
phecy can "endure the trial of reason," and its evidence be re- 
jected; then the disciples of Hume, the traducers of the Christian 
religion as not founded on reason, holding to "human nature" as 
of itself it is, and deriding the idea of its proffered ransom frona 
the guilt and rescue from the power of sin, have need, without 
exhausting their reason in abstract speculations, to look to their 


supernatural evidence of a divine revelation, it is argued 
that the improbabilities of the occurrence of miracles, 
being contradictory to uniform experience, are so ex- 
treme as to destroy entirely the validity of any testimony 
to their truth which has been transmitted through so 
many ages. " And upon the whole, we may conclude," 
says Hume, " that the Christian religion, even at this 
day, cannot be believed by any reasonable person, with- 
out a miracle." What then is the evidence, that, even 
at this day, there are subsisting miracles which must 
command the belief of every person to the truth of the 
Christian religion, who is not so utterly unreasonable, 
and his mind so steeled against conviction, as not to be 
persuaded even by miraculous demonstration ? And in 
what better or less exceptionable " method" can this 
evidence be meted out than according to the very 
^' measure of probability" in use with unbelievers ; and 
by means of which they profess to have discovered the 
deficiency of testimony to the truth of ancient miracles ? 

Archimedes demanded only a spot whereon to. stand 
that he might move the world. If the most reasonable 
concession from the infidel be not as impossible to be 
obtained as the demand of Archimedes ; and if he will 
admit either the truth of his own principles, or the force 
of mathematical proof, or if his prejudices be not im- 
movable as a world, the existing and obvious fulfilment 
of a multiplicity of prophecies might well excite his 
attention, and convince him of the truth. 

The doctrine of chances^ or calculation of probabilities, 
has been reduced into a science, and is now in various 
ways of great practical use, and securely acted upon in 
the aflfairs of life. But it is altogether impossible that 
short-sighted man could select, from the infinite multitude 
of the possible contingencies of distant ages, any one of 

own harder alternative, and (if both be not possibly conjoined) 
to choose between the incomparable deceitfulness and desperate 
wickedness of the heart within, — evils greater far than all that 
the Christian can ever fear for himself from all the sneers of the 
sophist, or the railings of the ungodly. 


such particular facts as abound in the prophecies ; and 
it is manifest that, upon the principle of probabilities, 
the chance would be incalculable against the success of 
the attempt, even in a single instance. Each accom- 
plished prediction is a miracle. But the advocate foi 
Christianity may safely concede'-much, and reduce his 
data to the lowest terms. And if the unbeliever reckon 
not his own cause utterly hopeless, and " by no means 
fitted to endure the trial of reason," he must grant that 
there was as great a probability that each prediction 
would not^ as that it would, have been fulfilled ; or that 
the probabilities were equal for and against the occur- 
rence of each predicted event. The Christian may fear- 
lessly descend to meet him on this very lowly ground. 
And without enumerating all the particulars included in 
the volume of prophecy respecting the life and character 
and death of Christ ; the nature and extent of Christi- 
anity, &c. ; the destruction of Jerusalem ; the fate of the 
Jews in every age and nation ; the existing state of Ju- 
dea, of Ammon, Moab, Edom, Philistia, Babylon, Tyre, 
Egypt, the Arabs, &c. ; the church of Rome, and the 
prophetic history which extends throughout two thousand 
three hundred years; may it not be assumed (though 
fewer would suflBce, and though incontestable evidence 
has been adduced to .prove more than double the num- 
ber) that a hundred different particulars have been fore- 
told and fulfilled ? What, then, even upon these data, 
is the chance, on a calculation of probabilities, that all 
of them would have proved true — the chance diminish- 
ing one-half for every number ; or what, in other words, 
is the hundredth power of two to unity ?* Such is the 
desperate hazard to which the unbeliever would trust, 
that even from these premises, it is mathematically de- 
monstrable that the number of chances is far greater 
against him than the number of drops in the ocean, 
although the whole world were one globe of water. Let 

' Essai Philosophique surlesProbabilites,parM. leComteLaplace. 
Emerson on Chances, prop.3. Hutton's edit.of Ozanam's Math. Recr. 
vol. i. See Gregory's Letters on the Christian Religion, p. 124. 


the chance at least be counted before it be confided in. 
But who would risk a single mite against the utmost 
possible gain at the stake on which unbelievers here 
1 recklessly put to certain peril the interests of eternity? 
' But each prediction recorded in Scripture, being a 
miracle of knowledge, is equal to any miracle of power, 
and could have emanated only from the Deity. " All 
prophecies are real miracles, and as such only can be 
admitted as proof of any revelation."^ They may even 
be said to be peculiarly adapted, in the present age of 
extended knowledge and enhghtened inquiry, for being 
" the testimony of Jesus ;" and they cannot justly be 
viewed as of inferior importance or authority to any mi- 
racles whatever. 

Though the founder of a new religion, or the messen- 
ger of a divine revelation, and his immediate followers, 
who had to promulgate his doctrine, would give clear 
and unequivocal proof, by working miracles, that their 
commission was from on high ; yet, the relation between 
any miraculous event, wrought in after-ages, and a reli- 
gion previously established, might not be so apparent. 
Or, even if it were, yet any single and transient act of 
superhuman power being confined to a particular re- 
gion, and cognisable only by a limited number, the testi- 
mony of these witnesses would be regarded only as 
secondary evidence, and could not, at least in a Christian 

1 Hume's Essays, vol. ii. p. 137. This statement of Hume's, 
combined with the manifest truth of prophecy, shows how all his 
theory against the truth of miracles may easily be overthrown by 
an admission of his own. Prophecy being true, and uniformly 
true, all prophecies being real miracles, miracles are not contrary 
to universal, or, even in a restricted sense, to uniform experience. 
They " are rendered probable by so many analogies," (Ibid. p. 134,) 
that on sufficient testimony they become provable, even upon 
Hume's own principles, especially when the inspiration of those 
very Scriptures, which record the disputed miracles, is verified by 
other miracles, the truth of which is established and experienced. 
And thus the boldest dogmas of skepticism may not only be 
braved, but reversed ; and it is more wonderful that the testimony 
sealed in blood and rendered credible by miracles .equally great, 
should be false, than that the miracles should he true. 


land, be substantiated by proof so complete as that which 
was sealed by the blood of martyrs. And even if per- 
petual maniJjgstations of miraculous power (however much 
men in apparent vindication of their unbelief may un- 
reasonably ask such proof) were submitted to the inspec- 
tion and experience of each inthvidual in every age. 
they would only seem to distort the order and frame of 
nature, and by thus disturbing the regularity and uniform- 
ity of her operations, would, from their very frequency, 
cease to be regarded as supernatural ; and, influenced by 
the same skeptical thoughts, those who now demand a 
sign would then be the first to discredit it. And true to 
reason and to nature it is, that those who will not believe 
Moses and the prophets would not be persuaded, though 
one rose from the dead. For the prophecies bear a direct 
reference to religion that is easily comprehended, and that 
cannot be misapplied. They have a natural and obvious 
meaning that may be known and read of all men. " Thus 
saith the Lord" is their prefix: this is the fact, is their 
proof. Instead of being weakened by the greatness of 
their number, the more they are multiplied, or the more 
frequently that facts formerly unknown, or events yet 
future, spring up in their verification, their evidence is 
redoubled, and they are ever permanent and existing 
witnesses that the word is of God. And, farther, the tes- 
timony which in every passing age confirms their truth, 
cannot be cavilled at ; it is " not diluted by transmission 
through many ages ;" it is borne, not to events in them- 
selves miraculous, but to natural facts, whether historical 
or geographical, which have been proved by conclusive 
evidence, and which in numerous instances still subsist 
to stand the test of any inquiry. And even many of the 
facts (such as the marvellous fate of the expatriated Jews) 
are witnessed by all, and need no testimony whatever to 
declare them. And the records of the prophecies, pre- 
served throughout every age, by the enemies of Chris- 
tianity, are in every hand. If, then, no evidence less 
exceptionable, more conclusive, or mQ,re clearly miracu- 
lous could be given, the disciples of Hume, in resigning 


an " academic" for a Christian faith, have only to apply 
aright the words of their master—" a wise man propor- 
tions his belief to the evidence ;"^ and they may thus 
find — what he in vain thought that he had discovered — 
an " everlasting check" against " delusion."^ 

It was the boast of Bolingbroke, in summing up his 
"philosophical" labours, that "he had pushed inquiry 
as far as the true means of inquiry are open, that is, as 
far as phenomena could guide him." Christian philo- 
sophy asks no more. It lays open the " means of 
inquiry," and presents, in the fulfilment of many pro- 
phecies, " phenomena" more wonderful than external 
nature ever exhibited, and demands only integrity of 
purpose, and that " inquiry be pushed unto the utter- 
most," that candour and reason may thus guide the im- 
partial inquirer, by the light of positive evidence and 
miraculous proof, to the conviction and acknowledg- 
ment of the inspiration of the Scriptures. 

The argument drawn by Volney from " The Ruins of 
Empires," is completely controverted by facts stated by 
himself, which, instead of militating against religion, 
directly establish the truth of prophecy ; — and the un- 
substantial fabric which he raised needs no other hand 
but his own to lay it in the dust. 

But ridicule alone has often supplanted reason, and 
has been held as a test of the truth, and directed espe- 
cially against the prophecies. And may not an evidence 
of their inspiration be found even in this last retreat of 
infidelity ? The ruins of the moral world are as obvious 
in the sight of Omniscience as the ruins of the natural, 
of cities or of kingdoms : and his word can foretell the 
one as well as the other. And if those who scoff at 
religion can perceive no evidence from any historical 
facts, or any external objects, they might look within, 
and they would find engraven on their own hearts, in 
characters sufficiently legible, a confirmation of the pro- 
phecies. And if they substitute railing for reason, and 
think to mar religion with their mockery, to all others 
» Hume's Essay on Miracles, vol. ii. p. 117. 2 lb. p. 116. 


they stand convicted, the living witnesses of the truth. 
" There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking 
after their own lusts, and saying, where is the promise 
of his coming ? for, since the fathers fell asleep, all 


OF THE CREATION. For this they willingly are ignorant 
of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, 
and the earth standing out of the water and in the water : 
whereby the world, that then was, being overflowed 
with water, perished." " There shall be mockers in the 
last tim^."* 

' 2 Pet. iii. 3—6 ; Jude 18. 

The Christian religion has thus to rank among its enemies 
many false teachers who were to arise, and who, as characterized 
in Scripture, speak evil of the things that they understand not, who de- 
spise government, who are presumptuous and self-willed, who speak great 
swelling words of vanity, to allure others, promising them liberty, while 
they themselves are the children of corruption, and foaming out their 
shame. (2 Peter, chap. ii. verses I, 10, 12, 18, 19.) Blasphemy, 
obscenity, and unmeaning abuse, are the weapons of their war- 
fare ; they seek to debase religion into a conformity with their 
gross and grovelling imaginations ; speaking of things that they 
know not, they utter great swelling words of vanity, as if, by a 
mere glance of their jaundiced mental vision, they could compass 
at once the whole of religious truth. But their arguments are as 
weak as their principles are base. And so manifestly does rea- 
son disclaim them, that for subverting their false assumptions, it 
is only necessary, in general, to make the contradiction as flat as 
the assertion is positive. As an example, it may be remarked, 
that in a list of aphorisms which lately issued from the London 
mart of infidelity, the most specious of the whole was thus ex- 
pres.sed — " All other religions are false, and therefore the Chris- 
tian religion is false also ;" or, as the argument may be more 
logically stated, all other religions are false, and therefore the 
Christian religion is true. Yet who can look but with sorrow for 
the fate, as well as disgust and derision at the efforts of such piti- 
ful cavillers, carping at the truth of the Christian religion — like 
unto foul and small fry (the less dignified the more befitting is the 
simile) nibbling at some weeds that have been cast by human 
nands upon a rock, and pressing with all their little strength to 
move it] 

But there is another and a different class of unbelievers, to 
whom the words in the text no less strikingly apply ; for they 
may be brought to confute the subtlest arguments of the ingenious 
skeptic, as well as to condemn the profane mockery of the mos* 
senseless railler. The great argument of infidelity, urged so 


But if unbelievers lay just claim to wisdom, and make 
a fair appeal to reason, then, rather than place their 
security in abstract speculations, and tamper thus with 
the immortal hopes of their fellow-men, rather than trust 

strenuously in these last days, against the credibility of miracles, 
from the inviolability of the laws of nature, could not be more 
plainly or forcibly stated than in the words of the apostle, declar- 
ing what that argument, the result of modern science, would be. 
If it had not been urged, a part of Christian evidence, derived 
from the fulfilment of this prediction, would still have been want- 
ing, and we should still have had to wait for the last argument of 
infidelity, from whence to draw a new illustration of the truth. 
But the apostle not only states, he also confutes what scoffers in 
the last days would say, and not from scriptural authority, un- 
availing with them, but on philosophical principles, or from facts 
of which they are willingly ignorant — viz. the creation of the world 
and its having been overflowed by water, which show that al 
things are not as they were at the beginning of the creation. 
Hume, Bentham, and Laplace, must yet veil their heads, in the 
academy as well as in the temple, before the humble fishermen 
of Galilee. And their reasonings need only to be rightly applied, 
that they may as strongly advocate the undoubted evidence which 
miracles give, that the doctrine is of God, as the facts attested by 
Gibbon and Volney demonstrate that the prophecies of Scripture 
were given by inspiration of God. But such a subject can only 
be touched on in a concluding note ; and abundant is the evidence 
of prophecy, seeing that it here needs only to be thus noticed. The 
transference of the leading argument of infidelity, — which a text 
and a fact may suffice to transfer, — into an additional and funda- 
mental evidence of the truth, merits a full consideration, more 
recently given to it by the writer, in a Demonstration of the truth of 
the Christian Religion. 

In these times of inquiry and discovery, it is pleasing to ob- 
serve how the progress of science becomes ultimately subservient 
to the cause of truth. Philosophy begins to confess its great 
error, and to oflfer some expiation to religion. And in the short 
space since the publication of the sixth edition of this treatise, 
new testimony may now be subjoined to the preceding note, not 
less important towards the illustration of the evidences of Chris- 
tianity, than the plates of Petra. The recent origin of man is a fact 
now universally admitted by geologists ; and in a late number of 
the Edinburgh Review, (Num. civ. p. .396,) it is said, in reference 
to that fact alone, that " it seems to us to be fatal to the theory 
which we have presumed to call a misconception of the uniformity 
of causation, as signifying an unalterable sequence of causes and 
effects" — or, in other words, that it is a demonstration that all 
things have not continued as they were from the beginning of the crea- 



in ridicule as the test of religious truth, and call an 
assumed and yet unpaid license to blasphemy by the 
name of liberty ; does it not behove them to look first to 
the positive evidence and miraculous proof of revelation, 
to detect its fallacy or own its power, and to quit their 
frail entrenchments, if, indeed, tKey find that the stand- 
ard of Christian faith may, in despite of all their efforts, 
be fixed upon the proudest towers of infidelity? Let 
them, in the words of the prophet, bring forth their wit- 
nesses, that they may be justified, or let them hear, and 
say, it is tnith. 

But, in conclusion, it may in reason be asked, if there 
be not something repugnant to the principles of Christir 
anity, in the mind of that man who will not hear Moses 

turn. " Certain strata have been identified," contin\ies the Re- 
viewer, " with the period of man's first appearance. We cannot 
do better than quote from Dr. Pritchard's excellent book. Re- 
searches into the Physical History of Mankind, his comment and 
application of this fact^ *It is well known that all the strata of 
which our continents are composed were once a part of the 
ocean's bed. There is no land m existence that was not formed beneath 


WAT Ell. Mankind had a beginning, since we can now look back 
to the period when the surface on which they lived began to exist. 
We have only to go back, in imagination, to that age, to represent 
to ourselves that there existed nothing on this globe but unformed 
elements, and that in the next period there had begun to breathe, 
and move, in a particular spot, a human creature, and we shall 
already have admitted, perhaps, the most astonishing miracle, re- 
corded in the whole compass of the sacred writings,' " &c. Thus, 
in a better and more philosophic spirit, resting on a. fact, of which 
the structure of the earth bears witness, and not on an unwar- 
rantable and false assumption, men, without reference to the pre- 
diction, have at last discovered the very argument urged by the 
apostle in refutation of the skeptical saying of scofiers in the last 
days. The heavens were of old, a7id the earth standing out of the water 
and in the water. The earth at first was without form and void. 
And since the beginning of the creation man himself was created. 
An u/nalterable experience has not therefore to be set up against 
the testimony of the Christian miracles ; for there is experience 
of the truth of, " perhaps, the most astonishing miracle recorded 
in the whole compass of the sacred writings." The arguments 
of the scoffers, and its manifest confutation, are alike confirma- 
tions of the truth of prophecy, itself, too, a miracle. 


and the prophets, and who is slow of heart to believe all 
that they have spoken, though they afforded the means 
of detection in every prediction which they uttered, if 
their prophecies had been false ; though they appealed 
to a vast variety of events which distant ages would 
bring into existence ; though history has answered, and 
ocular demonstration has confirmed that appeal, our ene- 
mies themselves being witnesses ; and although there 
never was any other truth that could be tried by such a 
test ? Might he not be convinced of a doctrine less 
moral, or not quite according to godliness, by evidence 
less miraculous ? Is there no reason to fear that the 
hght of evidence, though sufficient to dispel the cloud 
upon the understanding, is yet unable to penetrate " the 
veil upon the heart ?" Skepticism, at best, is not a sub- 
ject for boasting. It is easy to exclude the noon-tide 
light by closing the eyes ; and it is easy to resist the 
clearest truth by hardening the heart against it. And 
while, on the other hand, there are minds (and New- 
ton's was among the number) which are differently 
affected by the Evidence of Prophecy, and which can- 
not be callous, when touched by the concentrated rays 
of such light from heaven, whence can this great dissi- 
milarity of sentiment arise from the same identical and 
abundant proof? And into what else can the want of 
conviction be resolved than into the Scriptural solution 
of the difficulty — an evil heart of unbelief ? They will 
not come unto the light, because the light would make 
them free. 

But while the unbeliever rejects the means of convic- 
tion, and rests his hope on the assumed possibility that 
his tenets may be true, the positive evidence of Chris- 
tianity convinces the unprejudiced inquirer, or rational 
and sincere believer, that it is impossible that his faith can 
be false. And when he searches out of the book of the 
Lord, and finds that none of them do fail, he looks on 
every accomplished prediction, even though it be the 
effect of the wrath of man, as a witness of God ; he 
knows in whom he beheves : he sees the rise and fall 


of earthly potentates, and the convulsions of kingdoms, 
testifying of Him who ruleth among the nations, and 
accrediting his word ; he experiences the conviction that 
the most delightful of all truth, the hope which perisheth 
not, is confirmed by the strongest of all testimony, that 
Heaven itself hath ratified the peace which it hath pro- 
claimed ; he rests assured that prophecy came not of old 
time by the will of man, but that holy men of old spake 
as they were moved by the Holy Ghost ; and, although 
he knows not the mode of the operations of the Spirit, 
he sees the demonstration of his power. And •" taking 
heed thus unto the sure word of prophecy, until the day 
dawn and the day-star arise in his heart," the true be- 
liever learns, from the things that are past, the certainty 
of the things that are to come hereafter: he rests not 
satisfied with a mere name that he liveth, while yet he 
might be dead ; but having obtained that " precious 
faith," the germ of immortality, which springeth up into 
eternal life, he experiences the power of the world to 
come, and unites the practice with the profession of re- 
ligion ; he copies the zeal of those who spend their 
strength for that which is in vain, and their labour for 
that which profiteth not, but he directs it to the attain- 
ment of an incorruptible inheritance, for he knows that 
his labour shall not be in vain while he yields obedience 
to that Word which is the Charter of his Salvation, and 
which so unequivocally bears the seal and superscription 
of the King of kings. 


No. I. 


The preceding pages are so far from exhausting the subject, 
or presenting a complete view of the evidence of prophecy, that 
they only occupy, for the greater part, a space which writers on 
prophecy have very sparingly touched. Prophecies fulfilled are 
the miracles of every age of the church. And while new evi- 
dence of the inspiration of the Scriptures can so abundantly be 
adduced from geographical facts, discovered in the nineteenth cen- 
tury of the Christian era, there are other predictions of far more 
momentous import, which have only partially met their comple- 
tion, and which the future fate of the world has yet more fully to 
unseal. Much has been written on the more obscure prophecies, 
which have already been fulfilled. And different writers have 
speculated freely on the mode in which the predicted events, 
according to their interpretation, are to be brought to pass. But 
"the times and the seasons the Father hath in his own power." 
And, without entering into any minute exposition or detail, the 
following remarks may tend, in some measure, to show how the 
obscurity of the symbolical prophecies, which refer to events 
already past, is, in some instances at least, greatly overrated — 
how the objections of infidels may be obviated, and their very 
arguments be still farther adduced, in testimony of the truth of 
revelation, and how, notwithstanding the obscurity in which these 
prophecies are involved, it may be manifestly discerned in them, 
that He who ruleth among the nations has revealed his word to 
mortals, and that each vision depicted there, is the glance of Om- 
niscience through the history of man. 

The question respecting the more obscure prophecies which 

the Christian has to argue with the unbeliever is not — whether 

the same events might not have been foretold in a more distinct 

and definite manner (for'the predictions themselves are declared 

32* 377 


to be sealed, or to remain obscure, till the time of the end, or the 
period of tlieir completion ; and as they refer to the political state 
of the world, or to the successive governments that were to arise, 
there are obvious reasons for this purposed obscurity, which apply 
not to the numerous literal predictions) — But the question ?'«, 
whether, such as they are, and viewed in connection with other 
prophecies, they bear not a closer and 4ess convertible similitude 
to the events of which they were avowedly predictive, than human 
sagacity could have discerned or invented. 

Although the divine mind be perfect in wisdom, yet that wis- 
dom is unsearchable; and the mode of communicating any super- 
human knowledge must not only be regulated by the nature of 
the ultimate design of the special revelation, but be adapted also 
to the perception, capacities, and habits of thought of the human 
recipients. In the symbolical predictions of Daniel, both these 
ends are perfectly attained. The first, as so expressed, required 
that the prophecy should be sealed for many days, which was 
therefore conveyed in a figurative manner. And the symbols 
themselves are such as were adopted in the practice, and familiar 
to the understanding of men; and when viewed in conjunction 
with the explanation given by the prophet, they are, after the 
event, abundantly significant. It is obvious from history, as well 
as from ancient coins, that different kingdoms were signified or 
marked by diflferent emblematical representations. And, notwith- 
standing the difi\ision of knowledge, the same practice is conti- 
nued to the present day. Instead, therefore, of their being sin- 
gular or unintelligible, the very method of representing kingdoms 
is used in these prophetic similitudes, which was then, and still 
is, common in the world, and which arose perhaps at first from 
necessity, and was sanctioned afterwards by use. 

Not only is the emblematical representation given, but the sig- 
nificancy of the emblems is also explained. And in relation to 
the same events, in the cases about to be noticed, two different 
images or figures are represented to view. An accordance in 
each particular being requisite to a just historical interpretation 
of the prophecy, there is thus no possibility of any strained accom- 
modation of the events to the prediction ; and that interpretation, 
which is just in every particular, must be strictly and exclusively 
applicable. And such interpretation having been given, instead 
of their being now chargeable with impenetrable obscurity, it is 
not perhaps in the power of human language to give a more 
unequivocal and less ambiguous symbolical representation, which 
designedly was to be understood only after the event, of the rise 
of successive governments, than is given in the book of Daniel, 
by two different figures, accompanied by an explanation of each. 

While the truth of the predictions of Daniel may be investi- 
gated in the present day, the undoubted certainty of his inspira- 
•ion was accredited at the time in a manner at once easy to be 

Nebuchadnezzar's dream. 379 

understood, and impossible to be controverted, and jiltogether 
unparalleled in the annals of heathen oracles. 

Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, at that time the most 
potent monarch in the world, had, in his conquests over the sur- 
rounding nations, subjected the Jews to his authority; and, 
among other tokens of obeisance which he demanded of the king 
of Judah, he required that certain princes of the children of Israel, 
high in character and skilful in wisdom, should be sent from Je- 
rusalem, in order to be placed in his household, and to be num- 
bered among the magicians and astrologers, whom he was wont 
to consult, and who formed one of the appendages of his splendid 
court. Daniel was one of them. He and his friends of the 
house of Judah were soon " preferred far beyond all the wise men 
that were in all the realm." But in the court of a despot the 
highest subject is a slave. And it soon happened that their lives 
were in the greatest peril, from which no human prudence could 
have rescued them. It was the business of every courtier to 
minister to the will and pleasure of the king, otherwise their 
lives were in danger of being forfeited at once. And a cause of 
mental disquietude soon arose in the breast of the king, which 
his magicians were commanded to remove. His mind had been 
disturbed by dreams, "his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake 
from him," and he, whose will would brook no control, called his 
wise men, and commanded them to make known the dream, and 
the interpretation thereof. This was a test which all their pre- 
tensions could not abide, and a difficulty which all their artifice 
could not elude. They asked the king " to make known to them 
the dream, and they would show him the interpretation." In the 
latter respect, they might easily have practised on the credulity 
of the monarch, and put his mind at ease. " But the dream had 
gone from him ;" if recalled to his recollection, he would at once 
recognise it; and those who pretended in other matters to be 
astrologers, and magicians, and sorcerers, and who could not 
then deceive him, were commanded to tell the dream itself, and 
then he should know that they "could also show him the inter- 
pretation." Compliance with a demand so unreasonable was 
impossible for man; the attempt was utterly hopeless; and 
" they answered the king and said. There is not a man upon the 
earth that can show the king's matter ; therefore there is no king, 
lord, nor ruler that asketh such things at any magician, or astro- 
loger, or Chaldean. And it is a rare thing that the king requireth ; 
and there is none other that can show it before the king, except 
the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh." These words were 
true ; though they may have been inconsistent with the preten- 
sions of the magicians, when they were not so severely tried. 
But when the passions are inflamed, the spirit troubled, or pride 
wounded, reason and truth are alike disregarded ; and however 
unjustifiable or barbarous the deed, none could gainsay it: and 

380 nebqchadnezzar's dream. 

the king being angry and very furious, and having previously 
told them that there was hut one decree for them^ commanded tc 
destroy all the wise men of Babylon. All the art of man was 
baffled; "lying and corrupt words" could be of no avail ; some- 
thing beyond deception, and that could not be accused of it, wais 
necessary here, and wholly unattainat^e by mortal. A fit occa- 
sion, combined, as it afterwards proved to be, with the revelation 
of the future fate of the world, was presented for the display of 
more than human wisdom. He alone, who knoweth the thoughts 
and intents of the heart, and who is a discerner of the spirit, could 
communicate to the mind of man that knowledge which the king 
required. And the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, who 
had chosen the children of Israel for his peculiar people, that all 
the families of the earth might finally be blessed in the seed of 
Abraham, heard the prayers of Daniel, and of the other captive 
princes of Judah, when innocently condemned to die ; and he 
who turneth the hearts of men a;s the rivers of water, and who 
holds in his hands the thoughts of kings, as well as of their sub- 
jects, was pleased to reveal the secret unto Daniel in a night 
vrision. And it was to God that he expressed his gratitude, and 
ascribed all the praise. — " Then Daniel blessed the God of hea- 
ven. Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever, for wisdom 
rtnd might are his. And he changeth the times and the seasons. 
He removeth kings, and setteth up kings : he giveth wisdom to 
'he wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding. He 
evealeth the deep and secret things. He knoweth what is in the 
larkness, and the light dwelleth with him. I thank thee and 
praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wis- 
dom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we 
desired of thee, for thou hast made known unto us the king's 
matter." And as Daniel thus offered up his praise and gratitude 
in secret prayer unto God, so he boasted not of himself before the 
king, nor attributed the knowledge of the secret to his own wis- 
dom, but gave all the glory unto God, declaring that there is a 
God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known what 

SHALL BE IN THE LATTER DAVS. (Dan. chap. ii.) 

Daniel told unto the king his dream — the vision of his head 
upon his bed — and the thoughts that had come into his mind, and 
that (till Daniel recalled them) had passed from his own remem- 

It is impossible to conceive a more discriminating test of super- 
human knowledge, or any means by which a stronger impression 
could have been made upon the mind of the king, of the most 
positive conviction that Daniel was indeed the Prophet of God, 
and that as he had told him the dream, he had shown also the 
true interpretation thereof. And as the revealing of the dreara 
afforded this indubitable proof to Nebuchadnezzar, so the dream 
itself and its interpretation, and the exact completion of this pre- 


diction of events then future, give to us in the present day proof 
as indubitable, that Daniel did make known the dream to Nebu- 
chadnezzar, — that the dream is certain, and the interpretation 
thereof sure. 

It is as easy for an impartial inquirer in the present day as it 
was for Nebuchadnezzar to judge of the truth of the words of 
Daniel. Every word of the prophet would bring back to the 
mind of the king his own former thoughts, and every part of the 
prophecy still gives as striking demonstration that Daniel did 
indeed reveal what would come to pass thereafter, and what 
would be in the latter days. And although it was as utterly im- 
possible for Nebuchadnezzar to know of those future events 
which Daniel foretold, as it was for the magicians to restore to 
him his own lost thoughts, yet nothing is now easier than to 
discern and to apply to each and every part of the prediction its 
successive and corresponding event. And it was not merely to 
satisfy the disquietude of Nebuchadnezzar's mind — it was not 
merely that the life of Daniel and of his fellows might be spared 
— that a condemned captive became thus an inspired prophet, 
but that the word of God might be ratified by supernatural evi- 
dence — that Christians in every age might know in whom they 
have believed — that the providence of God might finally be 
manifested over all, and that if the gospel be hid, it may be hid 
only to them that are lost, who seeing, see not, and who hearing, 
will not understand. 

The only requisite commentary on the predictions is a simple 
and succinct recapitulation of the events which they avowedly 
prefigured. The interpretation, which is alike prophetic with 
the symbolical image, declares, that a kingdom inferior to the 
Babylonian was immediately to succeed it — that another kingdom 
of brass was then to arise, which was to bear rule over all the earth-— 
that the fourth kingdom was to be strong as iron, to break in pieces 
and subdue all things, or all other kingdoms. The Persian empire 
was established on the subversion of the Babylonian — the power 
or duration of which it did not attain. The Macedo-Grecian 
empire, under Alexander the Great, succeeded to the Persian. It is 
called a kingdom of brass, a metal more justly emblematical of 
the Grecian than any other — as they were distinguished by their 
coats of brass, and denominated the brass-clothed Greeks.^ This 
empire is described as having ruled over all the earth. It not only 
surpassed, in the extent of its conquests and dominion, the Baby- 
lonian and the Persian, but was literally called a universal 
empire ; and its founder is still known to fame, as one of the 
greatest of conquerors who ever lived. (These empires are more 
particularly described by Daniel in his subsequent prophecies.) 
The next empire which extended its power over these countries 

' Homeri II. ii. 47. 


was the Roman. // was strong as iron: /(trasmuch as iron 
hreaketh in pieces, and suhdueth all, and as iron that breakelh aU 
tkeae shall it break in pieces and bruise. Iron was its appropriate 
emblem. It was an iron crown which its emperors wore (pro- 
verbially the iron crown of Italy;) — and an iron yoke to wnich 
it subjected many nations : It bruised all the residue of the former 
kinu;dorns, and brake them in piecesT' It is impossible, on a 
retrospect of this history, to give any representation, in so few- 
words, more justly descriptive of the Persian, Grecian, and 
Roman empires. But the Roman empire itself was broken down 
— divided into different kingdoms — some of them powerful, and 
others comparatively weak. The sovereigns of these different 
kingdoms have been perpetually contracting matrimonial alliances 
with each other; but, notwithstanding this seeming bond of 
union, they have not united or adhered together. The know- 
ledge of these historical truths, familiar to every reader, alone 
suffices for the elucidation of the prophecy, i^nd whereas thou 
sawcst the feet and toes part of potter^s clay and part <f iron, the 
kijigdmn shall be divided ; but there shall be in it of the strength of 
the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay, 
jSnd as the toes of the feet were part if iron and part of clay, so the 
kingdom shall be partly strong and partly broken. Jlnd whereas 
thini sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves 
with the seed of men .• but they s/uill not cleave one to another, even as 
iron is nnt mixed with clay. 

To Nebuchadnezzar, who aspired only after human power 
and glory, the various empires that were in their order to succeed 
his own, and tyrannize over the world, were represented by a 
splendid image. But in the prophetic vision of the " Man of 
God" they appeared in other colours, and assumed a very different 
form. And under the appropriate symbol of wild beasts, varying 
in fierceness and cruelty, and distinguished ' by monstrous pecu- 
liarities, the successive empires of Babylon, Persia, Macedon or 
Greece, and Rome — the future promoters of idolatry and oppress- 
ors of man — were aptly characterized. 

In the vision of the prophet, not only the number of the king- 
doms and the order of succession are the same, and also the 
different characteristic features accordant with those of the pre- 
ceding sjTnbolical representation, but to the brief outline given 
in the former, several additional circumstances are annexed, and . 
fin a manner totally at variance with any wild and extravagant 
fancies arising from mere pretended foreknowledge) the nearer 
that the vision approaches to " the latter limes," it becomes the 
more copious and the more minutely defined. 

The first kingdom, viz. the Babylonian, then existing, was 
represented by a lion that had eagle's wings. But although then 
worthy of such emblems, the wings wherewith it was lifted up 
were to be plucked. " It was to be humbled and subdued, and 


made to know its human state,' — a man's heart (instead of a 
lion's.) was g-iven it. Tlie second kingdom was the Persian; it 
was noted by historians for its brutal cruelty, — and is prefigured 
by a bear. This beast raised itself upon one side, the Persians 
being under the Medes at the fall of Babylon, but presently rising 
up above them. And it had three ribs in the mouth of it between 
the teeth of it, signifying the kingdoms of Sardis, Babylon, and 
Egypt, which were conquered by it, but did not belong to its 
proper body."^ The third beast represents the kingdom that 
was to succeed the Persian, which was the empire of the Greeks, 
first established over the east by Alexander the Great. It con- 
sisted of various nations, far niore diversified in their manners 
and customs than were the Babylonians, Medes, and Persians, 
and was thus spotted like a leopard. The rapidity of its rise and 
conquests is aptly denoted by its four wings, while the four heads 
are significative of the exact number of kingdoms into which it 
was divided. The fourth empire was the Roman. It was dreadful 
and terrible, and strong exceedingly, and diverse from all king- 
doms. Such was the Roman empire, and such are the very 
words of the prophecy concerning the " fourth kingdom." Tlie 
beast was terrible; it had great iron teeth, it devoured and brake 
in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it. — The 
Roman empire was larger, stronger, and more terrible, and of 
greater duration than any of the former; it was diverse from all 
kingdoms that were before it; and, on its fall, it was subdivided 
into a greater number of distinct kingdoms. Machiavel (for 
whose creed the church of Rome and infidelity can alone contend) 
who wist not of the consequences of the historical fact, speci- 
fies by name the ten kingdoms into which the Roman empire was 
divided. Some of these kingdoms at length fell, and new ones 
arose. But, as Sir Isaac Newton remarks, they are still called 
the ten kings from their first number. And like the ten toes of 
the image, the fourth beast had ten horns, which the prophet in- 
terprets kingdoms, (v. 7, 24.) After these another power, diverse 
from the first, (v. 24,) and little at its commencement, was to 
arise, which was to subdue three kings. In this horn were eyes 
like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking very great things, 
whose look was more stout than his fellows. He was to speak great 
words against (" by the side of," or on assumed equality with) 
the Most High, to wear out the saints of the Most High ,- and to think 
to change times and laws, and they were to be given into his hands 
for a long but yet limited period. The church of Rome rose to 
power, diverse from that of any other, after the dismemberment 
of the Roman empire. The exarchate of Ravenna, the kingdom 
of the Lombards, and the state of Rome, were subjected to its 

'Sir Isaac Newton's Observations on the Prophecies of Daniel, 
p. 29. 
2 Ibid. 


temporal arweU as spiritual authority,' and plucked up before 
it. In this horn were eyes like the eyes of a mfln, " By its eyes 
it was a seer, Erttcrxomoj, a bishop in the literal sense of the word ; 
and this church claims the universal bishopric. With his mouth 
he spake very great things ; gave laws to kings and nations as an 
oracle, pretends to infallibility, and tl^at his dictates are binding 
on the whole world. "* His look was more stout than his fel- 
lows : the pope, asrhead of the church, has not only ever claimed 
supremacy over every other bishop, but kings have often pros- 
trated themselves before him and done the office of menials. And 
how closely does the character of wearing out the saints of the 
Most High befit the church of Rome. However much its cha- 
racter may now in reality or in appearance be altered, the time is 
not distant, when every auto da fe {act of Romish faith) brought 
the recusants of idolatry — the worshippers of the Most High — to 
the stake, and by every refinement in cruelty did it try to wear 
them out. And he shall think to change times and laws ; " appoint- 
ing fasts and feasts, canonizing saints, granting pardons and 
indulgences for sins, instituting new modes of worship, imposing 
new articles of faith, enjoining new rules of practice, and revers- 
ing at pleasure the laws both of God and men."^ 

The prophetic interpretation of another vision of Daniel now 
presents such a retrospective view of the history of the East, 
that scarcely the slightest comment is requisite to show its per- 
fect adaptation to the events. At the time of the end shall be the 
vision. I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the 
indignation^ for at the time appointed the end shall be. The ram 
which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and 
Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecian and the great 
horn that is between his eyes is the first king (Alexander the Great). 
Now^ that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four king- 
doms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power (which 
none of them ever attained). — And in the latter time of their king- 
dom, (at a distance of time, but prevailing over the same territory,) 
when the transgressors are come to the full, (Isa. xxiv. 5, 6,) a king 
offeree countenance, (Mahomet, who proffered only submission or 
the sword,) and understanding dark sentences, (wherewith the Ko- 
ran pre-eminently abounds,) shall stand up. And his power shall 
be mighty, but not by his own power (he possessed no hereditary 
dominion, and arose from nothing). And he shall destroy wonder- 
fully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty 
and the holy people, or the people of the holy ones (the Christians). 
And through his policy shall he cause craft to prosper in his hand 
(by a faith accommodated to the passions of men). And he shall 

• Sir Isaac Newton's Observations on the Prophecies of Daniel, p. 73. 
Bishop Newton's Dissert, xiv. 
" Sir Isaac Newton on Daniel, p. 75. 
' Bishop Newton, Diss. xiv. 


magnify himself in his heart. (" There is no God but one, and 
Mahomet is his prophet.") And hy peace shall he destroy many. 
Such is the intrinsic despotism and withering influence of Maho- 
metan government, that under their sway countries naturally the 
most fertile, and long exuberant in population and produce, have 
been depopulated and destroyed to a greater degree by peace than 
any other countries have been by war. He shall stand up against 
the prince of princes, magnifying himself even to the prince of the 
host (calling himself a greater prophet than Christ). It waxed 
exceeding, great toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the 
pleasant land, (Palestine,) the very direction and progress, accord- 
ing to Gibbon, of the greatest and most permanent of the Ma- 
hometan conquests. It cast down of the host and of the stars to 
the ground, (Christian churches,) and stamped upon them, and the 
place of the sanctuary (Jerusalem) was cast down. The vision was 
for many days. Many days have passed, and all is accomplished 
but the last end of the " desolation, which has given the sanctuary 
to be trodden under foot." 

Looking back then upon those successive empires which are 
the best known, and have been the most influential on the fate of 
the world, and comparing the bare predictions and the prominent 
events, is there not visible a chain of prophecy, without a link 
distorted or broken, stretched by no human hand over the history 
of man from the days of Nebuchadnezzar to the present hour, 
and on which the future fate of the world hangs suspended still 1 
And without diverging to other matters, may not the primary 
question be here reverted to, whether, such as they are, these 
predictions bear not a closer and less convertible similitude to 
the events of which they are avowedly predictive, than human 
«agacity could have discovered or invented? And may not a 
case be here put, which would try the reasoning powers of reck- 
less mockers, and bring this question to the proof? 

Were a despot now troubled at the thought — a thought which 
no tyrant could brook — that the Bible is the word of God, and 
that he who is higher than the highest regardeth him ; and were 
he to possess the power, and to congregate around him all the illu- 
minati — the magicians and astrologers — of modern times, and to 
demand of them the cause why the image of Nebuchadnezzar 
and the visions of Daniel bear so striking a resemblance to those 
future kingdoms, and to the latter times of which they were 
avowedly symbolical ; and how, by natural causes and human 
wisdom alone, the whole history of the Jews to the present hour 
was written, at the very least, two thousand years ago ; and how 
all the countries, and all the people, and all the cities of whose 
destiny they spoke, should accredit, to every jot and to a very 
tittle, the words of the seers of Israel, and present in their 
history and fate an exact counterpart of a professedly prophetic 
delineation ; and were they farther to be debarred from ridicule, 



and bound to reason, and told that " they dared not prepare lying 
and corrupt words to speak before him," and that "there was out 
onedecree for them,"iftheydid not makegood their professed claim 
to such wisdom, show the sure interpretation of the matter, resolve 
all his doubts, and restore quietude to his troubled thoughts, such 
as words of truth like Daniel's gavejto the mind of Nebuchad- 
nezzar ; then, verily, much do we fear, would the lives of the 
philosophes and savam of Europe be in no less jeopardy than were 
those of their prototypes, the wise men and the soothsayers of 
Babylon. And their poor faith having- no treasures in store to 
repay the life-blood of a single mortal ; no hope^ though otherwise 
forfeited, sufficient to bribe one solitary martyr to the block ; to 
what fitter terms than these (if their wisdom on such a trial should 
fail them) could their blanched and quivering lips, long used to 
mockery before, give utterance at last, "There is not a man upon 
earth that can show the king's matter; therefore there is no king, 
lord, nor ruler that asketh such things at any magician or astrologer, 
or Chaldean. And it is a rare thing that the king requireth : and 
there is none other that can show it before the king except the 
gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh."' 

The frequent perversion of the " truth as it is in Jesus," and 
the substitution in its stead of the " commandments of men ;" the 
party animosities, and religious wars and persecutions, so con- 
trary to the spirit of the gospel, which have so long prevailed : 
the gross impostures, absunl superstitions, and impious rites, 
which have often been forced into unnatural alliance with Chris- 
tianity, and grafted by human hands into the heavenly stock ; the 
domineering spirit of an unholy priesthood ; the partial diffusion 
of the religion of Jesus during many ages; and the delusions of 
a manifest impostor triumphing over the Christian religion, even 
in the regions which gave it birth ; have all proved stumbling- 
blocks in the way of many, or a rock of offence on which they 
have made shipwreck of faith and of a good conscience. Yet all 
these are but the various combatings of the impure passions, and 
the worldly-mindedness of man against a holy and spiritual faith— 
the workings o^ ^ predicted " mystery of iniquity :" and not only 
does the purity of the gospel itself remain unaffected by them all, 
but its truth, as the inspired word of God, is the more fully esta- 
blished. Even here " God has not left himself without a wit- 
ness ;" and " we do well to give heed to the sure word of prophecy, 
which shineth as a light in a dark place." 

But the church of Christ, though long militant " against spirit- 
ual wickedness in high places," shall, according to the Scriptures, 
become, even on earth, finally triumphant. And it is not merely 
from the analogy of the truth of the past, that the certainty of the 
events yet future may be confided in ; for there is not wanting, in 

'Danielii. 10, 11. 


the actual state of the world, subsisting evidence of the germi- 
nating fulfilment of prophecy. The rapid diffusion o^'knowledge ; 
the numerous inventions and discoveries in physical science, and 
the immense accession they have given to the power of man ; the 
facilities of communication and frequencies of intercourse that 
now prevail throughout the world ; the nature of recent wars — 
contests for principles rather than for property ; the abandonment 
in different states and kingdoms of the principles and the prac- 
tice of unrestricted and unmitigated despotism, and the establish- 
ment of constitutional governments in its stead ; the ready expres- 
sion and powerful efficacy of public opinion, sobered down as it 
is to the desire of substantial rather than theoretic liberty, and of 
its expansion throughout the world, and awed by the remembrance 
of all the exhibited horrors of anarchy and atheism ; the mani- 
fold philanthropic and religious associations, so diversified in 
their objects, and active in their operations, for alleviating the 
miseries, enlightening the ignorance, and ameliorating the moral 
condition of our species ; and, though last, not least of all, the 
unexampled and astonishing dissemination of the Scriptures, and 
the avidity with which they are sought after in many a land ; all 
these unite in giving the same promise to mortal hope, which the 
words of Scripture impart to religious faith, that the " appointed 
time," whatever convulsions may yet intervene, is approximating, 
when despotism and superstition shall come to an end, and when 
brutal power or governments, fitly symbolized by wild beasts, 
shall cease to trample on the liberties of man. The powers of 
darkness are already shaken. He whose " look was more stout 
than his fellows" has been greatly humbled. His dominion has 
in part been taken away^ and it will be consumed and destroyed 
until the end. 


No. II. 


" The Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and will have 
compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all 
the nations whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee. If 
any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from 
thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will 
he fetch thee. And the Lord thy God will bring thee into the 
land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it ; and 
he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers." 
(Deut. XXX. 3, 4, 5.) " And it shall come to pass that the Lord 
shall set his hand again the second time, to recover the remnant 
of his people, which shall be left from Assyria, and from Egypt, 
and from Pathros, and from Gush, and from Elam, and from 
Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And 
he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the 
outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from 
the four corners of the earth." (Isaiah xi. 11, 12, &c.) "Who 
are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows'? 
Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, 
to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, 
unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, 
because he hath glorified thee. And the sons of strangers shall 
build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee ; for 
in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on 
thee." (Isa. Ix. 8 — 10, &c.) "And they shall build the old 
wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, they shall 
repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations." 
(Isaiah Ixi. 4, &c.) " Thus saith the Lord, If heaven above 
can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out 
beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel, for all that they 
have done, saith the Lord. Behold, the days come, saith the 
Lord, that the city shall be built to the Lord, from the tower of 
Hananeel unto the gate of the corner : and the measuring line 
shall go over against it; and it shall not be plucked up nor 
thrown down any more for ever." (.Ter. xxxi. 37, &c.) " But 
ye, O mountains of Israel, shall shoot forth your branches and 
yield your fruit to my people of Israel ; and I will multiply men 
upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it ; and the cities 
shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded," &c. " For 
1 will take you (O house of Israel) from among the heathen, 


and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into youi 
own land." (Ezek. xxxvi. 8, 10—24.) " Thus saith the Lord God, 
Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, 
whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and 
bring them into their own land. (Ibid, xxxvii. 21, &c.) "Turn 
ye to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope, even to-day do I de- 
clare that I will render double unto thee, when I have bent Judah 
for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O 
Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword 
of a mighty man," &c. (Zech. ix. 12, &c.) " Behold the days 
come, saith the Lord, that the ploughman shall overtake the 
reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed ; and the 
mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. 
And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and 
they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them ; and they 
shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also 
make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them 
upon their own land, and they shall be no more pulled up out of 
their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God." 
(Amos ix. 13 — 15.) " I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of 
thee. I will surely gather the remnant of Israel ; I will put them 
together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their 
fold : they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of 
men." (Micah ii. 12.) 

These prophecies, exclusive of many others, need no comment. 
They declare, as clearly as language can, that the Jews shall 
return to Judea, and be at last permanently re-established in the 
land of their fathers. The uniform experience of the literal truth 
of every prediction respecting their past history may suffice to 
give assurance of the certainty of their predicted restoration. 
And, amidst many signs that the times of the Gentiles are drawing 
towards their fulfilment, many concurring circumstances seem 
also to be preparing the way of the children of Israel. Scattered 
as they have been for so many ages through the world, and main- 
taining still their distinctive character, their whole history forbids 
the thought that they will ever mingle among the nations, or 
cease to be, what they have ever been, a peculiar people. But 
while their history as a nation gave, for the space of many 
generations, unequivocal attestations of an overruling providence, 
sustaining the theocracy of the commonwealth of Israel; and 
while, during a period of still greater duration, they have been 
"a people scattered and peeled :" yet, after the lapse of so many 
ages, they are still reserved for illustrating the truth, the mercy, 
and the glory of the God of Israel ; at eventide it shall be light. 
They now begin, centuries of persecution and spoliation having 
passed away, to participate, in cases too numerous to be specified, 
of benefits arising from the altered spirit of the times. And pos- 
sessed, as Ml an unexampled degree they are, of silver and gold^ 


and of large portions of the public funds of various kingdoms, 
they may Be said, even now, in some manner, to inherit the riches 
of the Gentiles. And commanding, as in a great measure they 
do, the rate of exchange throughout Europe, they are entitled, 
from the present influence of money on the security of govern- 
ments, and on the art and results of war, to high political consi- 
deration ; and the time may not thus be remote, when they shall 
be raised up as an ensign among the natioris. Not naturalized to 
the isles of the Gentiles, either by law or affection, or bound to 
any S'oil by the possession of fixed property, which would be of 
no easy transference; but ever looking with undiminished love to 
the land of their fathers^ even after an expatriation uninter- 
rupted for nearly eighteen centuries, they are ready, whenever 
the time shall be fulfilled, to fly thither like a cloudy and like doves 
to their windows. But to what degree, and in what manner the 
present convulsions of the Turkish empire, combined with the 
peculiar, and, in many instances, novel condition of the Jews 
throughout Europe and America, shall be the means of facili- 
tating their eventual restoration to their own land, no mortal can 
determine. It is enough for Christians to know, that two thou- 
sands of years, through nearly which period it has been dormant, 
can neither render extmct the title, nor prescribe the heaven-charted 
right of the seed of Abraham to the final and everlasting possession 
of the land of Canaan ; that God will remember the land,, and gather 
together unto it his ancient people ; and that his word concerning 
Zion, which he hath neither forgotten nor forsaken,, is, / have 
graven thee upon the palms of my hands, thy walls are continually 
before me. Thy children shall make haste ; thy destroyers, and they 
that made thee waste, shall go forth of thee, &c. (Isa. xlix. 16, 17, 
&c.) " And that through all the changes which have happened 
in the kingdoms of the earth, from the days of Moses to the pre- 
sent time, which is more than three thousand two hundred years, 
nothing should have happened to prevent the possibility of the 
accomplishment of these prophecies, but, on the contrary, that the 
state of the Jewish and Christian nations at this day, should be 
such as renders them easily capable, not only of a figurative, but 
even of a literal completion in every particular, if the will of God 
be so ; this is a miracle, which hath nothing parallel to it in the 
phenomena of nature." — darkens Evidences. 


No. III. 


Clearly revealed as is the will of God in Scripture, and per- 
fectly calculated as is the gospel to effect the happiness of man, 
and faithful unto the death as many of the primitive Christians 
were, — it is no less manifest that an apostasy, or falling- away 
from the faith, was foretold. And who can read the Scriptures 
with an unbiassed mind, and look to the history of the Christian 
church, and doubt for a moment that there has been an apostasy, 
or falling away from the truth and simplicity of the faith as it is 
in Jesus'? Or who, in a like unbiassed manner, can read the 
prophecies respecting that apostasy, and cherish even a moment- 
ary doubt of their application "? 

It would be foreign to the object of this treatise, and it would 
require a volume rather than a concluding page, to enter at large 
upon such a subject. But the simple comparison of a few pro- 
minent predictions and undeniable facts, which scarcely need 
any illustration, may tend to show that much evidence of the 
inspiration of Scripture may be drawn from the obscure prophe- 
cies, and that their obscurity in a great measure vanishes, on the 
most succinct combination of predictions and of facts. 

The coincidence, not in meaning only, but in words, which 
subsists between the following predictions, strikingly denotes 
their reference to or connection with the same subject. And 
when viewed as a portraiture of events now passed, or still in 
progress, the apparent obscurity arising from the adoption of 
symbols, or figurative representations, may be at once removed 
by merely bearing in mind that in Scripture itself the term heast 
is explained as denoting a king, kingdom, or reigning power; 
and that, in the phraseology of the Old Testament, idolatry, or 
the worship of false gods or images, in any form, is uniformly 
represented as whoredom or fornication. Without straining 
either a word of sacred writ, or a fact in history, it is left to every 
unprejudiced reader to determine on whose forehead it is that 
the marks of apostasy and names of blasphemy are so conspicu- 
ously written, that they legitimately form a part of the testimony 
of Jesus. (Rev. xvii.) 

The ^^ forbidding to marry ^ and commanding to abstain from 
meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving 
of them which believe and know the truth," (1 Tim. iv. 3,) are 


mentioned literally as prominent marks of the apostasy. And 
the celibacy of the clergy, both regular and secular, and the 
multiplicity of fasts, appointed and observed by the church of 
Rome, are in complete and manifest accordance with the predic- 
tion. The former is expressly contrary to the sanction and 
authority of Scripture, which saith — ^a bishop must be blame- 
less, the husband of one wife ;" — and the reason assigned for the 
latter, as taught in the first Catechism or abridgment of Christian 
doctrine^^ " that by fastmg we may satisfy Goa for our sins," is 
a monstrous perversion of all Christian doctrine, and shows 
with how great a falling away from the faith the observance of 
such "commandments of the church" of Rome is accompanied. 

Giving heed to doctrines of devils — literally of, or concerning, 
demons — ^a term often applied by Greek writers to those whc 
were canonized or deified after their death, or who were accounted 
agents or mediators between gods and men. (1 Tim. iv. 3.) The 
same word was used by the Athenians, (Acts xvii. 18,) when 
they accused Paul of being a setter up of strange gods or demons 
— because he preached unto them Jesus, who had been raised 
from the dead. — Bui in his estate, (or in the stead of God,) shall 
he honour the God (f forces, or, as rendered in the margin, Gods 
protectors, divine guardians, or tutelary saints. (Dan. xi. 38.) 
The corruption of the pure worship of God, the introduction of 
demonolatry into the Christian Church, and the trusting to other 
intercessors than the one only Mediator, seem here evidently 
referred to. It is not needful to ask what church, as well aS the 
Grecian, has given heed to doctrines concerning departed mortals, 
such as were believed on by heathens ; or who have canonized 
dead men, worshipped them in the stead of God, believe on them 
as strong protectors, address them as intercessors, worship at their 
shrines, regard their glory, and honour them with gold, silver, and 
precious stones and pleasant things. (Dan. xi. 38.) 

Giving heed to seducing spirits, speaking lies in hypocrisy, 1 Tim. 
\7. 1,2. Whose coming is after the power of Satan, with all power ^ 
and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of un- 
righteousness, 2 Thess. ii. 9, 10. By thy sorceries were all nations 
deceived. Rev. xviii. 23. The power of working miracles is held 
by the church of Rome as a mark of the true church ; but the 
assumption of that power is truly a mark of the great apostasy. 
And what else are wilful impositions, lying legends, and pre- 
tended miracles, the liquefying of the blood of St. Januarius, for 
example, still practised, thrice every year, in a church in Naples, 
but the deceivableness of unrighteousness ? Or what creed is more 

1 Published for the use of the London District, and printed by R. 
Keating, Brown & Co., London, Printers to the R. R. the Vicars 
Apostolic, 1812, p. 33. 


common in Rome, to which the pope and the cardinals have 
^iven their sanction, than the working of miracles by the images 
of saints 1 

Speaking of the selfsame apostasy, it is said by the apostle 
Paul, " the day of Christ shall not come, except there come a 
falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of 
perdition ; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is 
called God, or that is worshipped, so that he, as God, sitteth in 
the Temple of God, showing himself that he is God." (2 Thess. 
ii. 3, 4.) These words, descriptive of the man of sin, are linked 
to the description of the little horn in Daniel, (p. 383,) not only by 
a similarity of character, but by an identity of fate, ^nd he shall 
speak great words against the Most High. (Dan. vii. 25 ; Rev. xiii. 
5, 6.) It admits of no question who it is that has exalted himself 
most highly in the Church, that has assumed the claim of infalli- 
bility, and of titles which pertain to God alone, and to whom 
" adoration" is paid, when he is enthroned, in the most magni- 
ficent temple on earth, as the head of the Church. 

The more closely that the connection is traced between the 
prophecies of St. Paul, Daniel, and St. John, they become the 
more copious, discriminative, and defined. The beast having 
seven heads and ten horns,* which was subject to the authority 
of the great whore,^ (or idolatrous church,) is evidently con- 
nected, in its character, duration, and fate,'' with the little horn of 
Daniel's fourth kingdom, or the Roman. The locality or seat of 
this dominion, diverse from the former kingdoms, could scarcely 
be more circumstantially defined. The seven heads are seven 
mountains on which the woman sitteth, (Rev. xvii. 9.) Rome was 
proverbially the city on seven hills ,• and there are seven kings ,• five 
are fallen and one is, (v. 10.) Five forms of government had 
before that time fallen, and another then existed. And the ten 
horns which thou saw est are ten kings which have received no king' 
doms as yet. The Roman empire, then entire, was, about the 
time of the establishment of popery, divided into ten kingdoms, 
corresponding with the ten horns of the fourth beast, or the toes 
of the great image, (pp. 382 — 384.) The woman which thou sawest 
is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth. The 
great city which then reigned over the kings of the earth was 
Rome. It is all but named. And under a symbol the very name 
was hid. The beast had a name, a number, and a mark, (Rev. 
xiii. 18, XV. 2,) and his number is six hundred threescore and six. 
(Among the Hebrews and Greeks all the letters were numerals, 
or equivalent to figures, which were not in use among them.) 
Three diflferent designations being given, three cprresponsive 

1 Rev. xiii. 1 ; xvii. 7. 

2 Rev. xvii. 15. 

' Dan. vii. 20, 21, 25, 26 ; Rev. xiii. 5, 7, 10, xvii. 14. 


words, instead of one, as has been generally sought, seem to be 
required. The beast was first described by Daniel ; and in He- 
brew characters, Romiith,' Roman, agreeing with beast or king- 
dom, contains the precise number, or that of his name ,• while 
Lateinos^ the number of his name, " which is the number of a 
man,^^ and ^postates^ the mark, the brand of the apostasy, both 
fatally contain the same prophetic number. 

There are other characteristics which need no comment. 
" Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great 
whore thai sitteth upon many waters .- with whom the kings ^ the 
earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth 
have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. The waters 
which thou sawest where the whore sitteth are peoples, and multitudes, 
and nations, and tongues. Rev. xvii. 2, 15. They shall be given 
into his hand, Dan. vii. 25. ,^nd power was given him over all 
kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the 
earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of 
life,'''' Rev. xiii. 7, 8. The catholic means the universal church. 
The same horn made luar with the saints, and prevailed against them. 
He shall wear out the saints of the Most High, Dan. vii. 21, 25. It 
was given unt^ him to make war with the saints, and to overcome 
them. Rev. xiii. 7. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood 
of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus, Rev. 
xvii. 6. 

She was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour. Rev. xvii. 4, the 
official clothing of the pope and of the cardinals, and decked with 
gold and precious stones, and pearls, as also they are, and where- 
with the decking of their churches, altars, and images did 

We ask not how all the subtilty of Jesuitism, or all the de- 
ceivableness of unrighteousness can rescue popery from the grasp 
of so many prophecies encircling it on every side ; it is the pur- 

>ni2 = 200 2aZ= 30 «A^= 1 

a a = 1 rc p = 80 

t t =300 o = 70 

e e = 5 s^ st = 6 

c t = 10 a a = 1 

i; n = 50 T- / = 300 

00= 70 •7^'^ Q 

5 s = 200 5 s = 200 

666 666 

These words have often been applied as denoting the name of the 
beast ; and Dr. Clark, in his commentary, has adduced the term 
'H Aarivrj 0aai\cia — the Latin kingdom; asalso containing the exact 
Dumber 666. 



pose of these remarks, as connected with the evidence of pro- 
phecy, to show that even the long-continued and wide-spread 
apostasy from the Christian faith, which has often given a seem- 
ing sanction to infidelity, is itself a proof of the inspiration of 
Scripture ; and that the war which has long been waged against 
those who kept the commandments of God and had the testimony of 
JesuSf only serves the more to confirm the truth of that testi- 




i«-r»TH-k TOTiT f\XKr 




This book U due on the last date stamped below, 
or on the date to which renewed. Renewals only: 

Tel. No. 642-3405 
Renewals may be made 4 days prior to date due. 
Renewed books are subject to immediate recall. 



mr^ir ''^ 


AUG 2 2002 

LD2 1 A-lOm-8.' 73 , T„i™fr^'!rf'te[r„J. 

(Rl902sl0)476— A-31 Universgy^^^^^Ufonu. 

LD 21-100m-7, aa 


. 57423